The Australian Liberal Party vote tomorrow on a spill motion that could see Tony Abbott deposed as Prime Minister. The reasons are clear to see, the shortest political honeymoon on record, adverse polling with support for Abbott down to 27% and the Queensland State election fiasco could see Abbott deposed.
The Queensland State election result was particularly devastating for morale with the local Labor Party going from 7 seats three years ago to 43 and potentially 44 seats in the 89 seat legislature and with the Liberals down from 78 seats to probably no more than 42 seats. Even the odious Pauline Hanson may remove a further Liberal MP from power. Part of the blame for the result has been placed on Abbott himself and the party were that worried it kept him away from campaigning in the state.
And there is nothing like the prospect of defeat to motivate a backbench MP. A group of them had petitioned for a spill motion to be conducted on Tuesday. Abbott has replied by bringing the vote forward to Monday, obviously hoping that this will improve his prospects. His movement has been met with some fury, and provides further evidence that he will exercise control and refuse to accommodate the wishes of his MPs. Support appears to be growing for former leader Malcolm Turnbull who would present a more sane alternative leader to Abbott.
Julia Gillard must be grinning from ear to ear. This particular satirical piece from the SBS site in Australia deserves to be reprinted.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under observation at Royal Prince Philip hospital after overdosing on schadenfreude, the pleasure derived from witnessing someone else’s misfortune.
Gillard was found in her residence clutching an oversized bag of popcorn and watching the ABC’s 7:30 Report. An ambulance was called to the Gillard residence and she was taken to hospital where she remains in a stable non-life threatening condition. Hospital staff were quick to caution that it was not all good news however.
“Unfortunately we were unable to wipe the smile off her face,” said a hospital spokesperson. “We tried everything we could but it won’t budge. This is unusual for a simple case of excessive schadenfreude.
“Whoever is triggering this episode must really, really deserve it.”
Gillard was unavailable for comment at the time of printing as any attempt to answer our questions was greeted with uncontrollable laughter and the phrase “it’s on.”
A spokesperson for Gillard thanked the medical staff at the Royal Prince Philip hospital for their dedicated work and insisted this is no need for concern.
“We appreciate the outpouring of tributes we’ve received but there is no need to worry. The only thing around here that’s terminal is the Abbott Government.”
If you want to follow events the Guardian have a live feed of events here.
Update: Abbott has survived with the vote reported to be 61-39 against a spill. I suspect the left will be pleased …