Articles on Liberal leadership spill

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To become prime minister, Turnbull made himself a willing hostage at the outset to right-wing policies that contradicted his political persona. AAP/Mick Tsikas

The Turnbull government is all but finished, and the Liberals will now need to work out who they are

In staying hostage to this right-wing lunge, rather than fighting to move it back to the mainstream, Turnbull erased his moderate face, destroying his only utility – electoral utility – to the Liberals.
There is enough in the Dutton case to raise questions about whether disqualification has occurred. AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: is Peter Dutton ineligible to sit in parliament?

It is possible the home affairs minister is in breach of Section 44(v) of the Constitution – and if the High Court were to find him so, it would cause yet another headache for the government.
The Liberal Party contains moderates like George Brandis, Christopher Pyne and Malcolm Turnbull, and conservatives such as Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz and Peter Dutton. AAP/The Conversation

Note to Liberals: on the leadership front, best to keep calm and carry on

With fringe right parties feasting on the margins of conservative political discontent in Australia, deeper questions are being asked about whether the Liberal Party itself is at risk.
Tony Abbott’s anger and distress at losing the prime ministership is clear through a calm veneer. Sam Mooy/AAP

Abbott’s post-coup stress on display

The pain in politics is not pretty. Most leaders relish imposing it on adversaries. But then, when they come to bad ends, as they often do, they bleed and vent. Tony Abbott’s anger and distress is clear…
While Julie Bishop stays on as foreign minister, domestic political calculations might be less of a factor in policy if the government can put dire opinion polls behind it. AAP/Lukas Coch

Can foreign policy be freed from populist politicking?

Australia will benefit if a Turnbull government pursues a foreign policy agenda attuned more to regional and global goals and developments, and less to domestic political challenges.
Malcolm Turnbull is promising a change in leadership style from Tony Abbott, but that alone won’t be enough to qualify as government for the 21st century. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Turnbull must break with past attempts to keep the future at bay

The Abbott government resisted the disruptive changes of the 21st century. To succeed, the Turnbull government will need to shed this reactionary mindset and embrace inevitable change.
Andrew Hastie retained the federal seat of Canning for the government at a byelection on the weekend. AAP/Richard Wainwright

The wash-up from the Canning byelection

What did we learn from the Canning byelection campaign? What are the result’s implications for both the new Turnbull government and the Labor opposition?
‘Not the best person to liaise with us’: senator David Leyonhjelm on new government Senate leader George Brandis. Lukas Coch/AAP

Senate crossbencher’s advice to new PM: come and walk the red carpet, Malcolm

An important element in the success of Malcolm Turnbull’s government will be how effectively it handles the Senate. Some crossbench senators have greeted the arrival of Turnbull enthusiastically, contrasting…

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