Folks, politics has just flat-out refused to stop happening today. Even just 20 years ago, a prime minister declaring a vacancy and a subsequent leadership spill would have been all the news the average person heard in a week. Today, we experienced both of those things within the space of one hour.
In the day that followed that event-filled morning, we’ve seen Tony Abbott having a big ol’ sook and we’ve seen Peter Dutton try and position himself as a much more loveable and eminently electable figure. Now we’re seeing a bunch of ministers attempt to jump ship to the backbench after throwing their lot in with Dutton.
Peter Dutton himself resigned after losing the vote this morning, despite Turnbull giving him the option of remaining on the frontbench. A number of other ministers and assistant ministers have also tendered their resignations, although at this stage none of them have been accepted by the PM.
Some of these names will be a bit familiar to you, some of them likely won’t be at all. We’ve seen resignations from International Development and the Pacific Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells; Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor; Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja; Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar; Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister James McGrath; and, reportedly, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo. What a bloody mouthful.
Again: Turnbull has not yet formally accepted the resignation of anyone except Dutton at this stage.
Eric Abetz has said that, based on how things have gone in the past, we’re probably looking at another challenge and, for the first time in his bizarre laugh, this motherfucker is probably right.
Eric Abetz just told Sky that history suggests there will be a second challenge against Malcolm Turnbull's leadership.— Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) August 21, 2018
Dutton managed to secure a substantial portion of the vote without much time at all to rally his supporters, and these resignations will be putting a lot of pressure on Turnbull and the rest of the Liberal Party, who see it as vital to present the image of being a unified, stable party.