It’s back to the future with Malcolm
This morning Malcolm Turnbull has announced that he has reversed his decision to retire from politics at the next election.
But perhaps the biggest factor in his decision to stay on is the Rudd Government’s decision to dump its CPRS, the policy which engineered his downfall as Liberal Party.
So what does this mean for the Libs?
It obviously means that Tony Abbott can no longer enjoy the buffer of a post-Turnbull Liberal Party, that almost certainly would have left him as leader even after a likely election loss this year due to lack of alternative choice within the party.
But with the source of the Liberal schism no longer likely to see the light of Parliament, a détente between the dries and wets in the Liberal Party focussed on ousting the Rudd Government would be the most sensible and likely outcome of Turnbull’s decision.
Although a return to the Opposition frontbench seems unlikely before the next election, it is a now possibility where it otherwise would not have been.
Turnbull could not sit on the frontbench while the Government attempted to get the ETS through, and there is no way Abbott couldn’t have had him there.
With the emissions trading scheme dead by Rudd’s choice, the conspicuousness of its absence in Parliament is a continuing reminder of Rudd’s failure, not Turnbull’s.
If Turnbull does sit on the backbench until the next election, and the Coalition do go down, there’ll be immediate talk about Turnbull going for the leadership once again.
If the Coalition win though, Turnbull is certain to be a senior Minister once again and most likely the Treasurer.
But in the mean time there’s a genuine feeling within the Liberal Party that the Rudd Government is more vulnerable than ever, as Opposition Environment spokesman Greg Hunt said “the Government has now begun to collapse, and what we are seeing is profound rifts in the Government.”
Although Hunt’s analysis is unsurprisingly exaggerated, the Opposition can sense that they now might, just might, have a chance of throwing the Rudd Government out - and Turnbull wants in on that.
Read all about it
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