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New South Wales Premier Mike Baird looks likely to keep enjoying the view from the top of the state after the March 28 poll. Mike Baird/Facebook

NSW voters set to back Baird, but upper house is too close to call

With just a day of campaigning left in the New South Wales election, the result is already clear. Mike Baird's government will be re-elected – but the battle for 21 upper house seats will be crucial.
The Reverend Fred Nile is a veteran of the NSW Parliament – and many predict that if the Baird government is re-elected, his vote could decide whether power privatisation goes ahead or not. Dean Lewins/AAP

NSW privatisation could hinge on a single upper house vote

A re-elected Liberal National government needs to win 10 upper house seats in this year's NSW election to hold a clear majority. But any fewer than 10, and it may need a Plan B on privatisation.
From boyhood to late in life, Malcolm Fraser always seemed to be slightly removed from those around him. AAP/Tim Dornin

The long and lonely political journey of Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser's record in public life was remarkable, ensuring he'd be remembered not only for his role in The Dismissal, but for how far apart he and the party he once led came to be.
Malcolm Fraser has passed away at the age of 84. AAP/NAA

Malcolm Fraser’s life and legacy: experts respond

In his time in office, Malcolm Fraser oversaw the acceptance of southeast Asian refugees and led economic and social welfare reforms.
Philip Ruddock has been stood down as chief government whip. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott dumps Ruddock as chief whip

Tony Abbott has sacked Chief Government Whip Philip Ruddock in a provocative move just days after holding off a motion to…
In the battles within the government between now and May, Treasurer Joe Hockey will lack the degree of authority he could deploy a year ago. AAP/Lukas Coch

Hockey on the ropes: ‘I am doing the heavy lifting for my country’

The Liberals have drawn a line under the leadership issue for the moment, but this week’s unsuccessful spill motion has changed fundamentally the dynamics within the government and the party. Malcolm Turnbull…
Unlike in Queensland, NSW Premier Mike Baird will not be able to keep Tony Abbott away from the campaign trail. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Making Abbott invisible in NSW campaign will prove difficult

The major political parties are only days away from launching their campaigns for this year’s New South Wales state election, to be held on March 28. As state political issues that don’t involve the Independent…
The cost of leaving Tony Abbott in the prime ministership is to consign the government to limbo while the Liberals wait to judge his performance. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott’s attempt to regroup means new policy uncertainty

Tony Abbott is precariously perched on icy slopes – deeply unpopular both in the community and with his backbench. More slips and/or continued disastrous polling would plunge him to political death, while…
There’ll be a lot of strategic thinking going into the vote during the Liberal leadership spill. AAP

Game (theory) of thrones in the Liberal leadership spill

How might Liberal MPs vote in the upcoming leadership spill? The answer to that question is vastly more complicated than it might seem. Ostensibly, they will be voting for the best political leader amongst…
Why is it that, in recent years, federal party MPs have reached the conclusion that the only way to deal with an unpopular leader is by deposing them? AAP/Nikki Short

Liberal leadership tensions give neglected backbenchers a voice

It is difficult to pinpoint a specific reason to explain the leadership crisis presently gripping the federal Liberal Party. Why is it that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing a leadership spill only…
Senator Arthur Sinodinos, John Howard’s former chief of staff, is the first major figure to throw his weight behind leadership speculation. AAP/Paul Miller

Sinodinos weighs into leadership crisis with tough critique of Abbott government

In 2001, after a disastrous Queensland election result, then-Liberal federal president Shane Stone wrote his famous memo reporting that the Howard government was seen as “mean and tricky”, out of touch…
Liberal backbencher Dennis Jensen said Tony Abbott ‘is not capable of making the transition to prime minister’ from opposition. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bring on a leadership vote next week: Liberal backbencher

West Australian Liberal backbencher Dennis Jensen has urged the Liberals to hold a leadership vote next week, declaring Tony…
In the exact opposite to his election strategy, Tony Abbott has been making voters feel anxious and alarmed about his government. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Voters’ feelings of uncertainty have come back to bite Abbott

In 2012, then-opposition leader Tony Abbott gave a speech that set out his agenda for winning government and indicated the policies he intended to implement. He argued that one of his key aims was to make…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised ‘the most consultative and collegial government this country has ever seen’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott tells troops: don’t panic

Tony Abbott has appealed to his Liberal colleagues to show “character” and not “give in to short-term fear and make a difficult…
Tony Abbott’s Press Club speech was merely the first of a long series of tests that he will face every day from now on. AAP/Mick Tsikas

What ails Abbott is but a symptom of disease of government today

If a single speech is regarded as a make-or-break event for an Australian prime minister, then that prime minister faces an uncomfortable future. That’s because the “make” part is a fraud. Tony Abbott…

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