Michelle Grattan speaks with Deep Saini about the week in politics.
The ALP just has to suck it up and throw itself into battle, because the stakes are very high.
The byelections, which span four states, are especially crucial for opposition leader Bill Shorten, because four are in ALP seats and two of those are on wafer thin margins.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese is confident their candidates will win back their seats and is gearing up for the ALP's National Conference in late July.
As much as the Senate is unpredictable, this does look like the end of the government's chances of getting its company tax package through parliament before the election.
Liberal backbench senator Dean Smith will challenge on Saturday his party's decision not to field a candidate in the byelection for the federal seat of Perth.
Polls also have good news for the government, with the two-party preferred gap narrowing and the budget well-received.
Labor continues to hold a 51-49% two-party lead in the wake of last week's budget.