Sunday Herald Sun - - Opinion -

Be­fore he took the sec­ond-high­est job in the land, Rive­rina MP McCor­mack had never held so much as a Cab­i­net min­istry. To­day he is both leader of the Na­tion­als and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter. Against the odds, he has suc­cess­fully fended off any chal­lenge to his lead­er­ship.

Shorten’s year could have been so dif­fer­ent. Just one by­elec­tion loss would have trig­gered lead­er­ship ten­sions and could have been enough to con­vince Mal­colm Turn­bull to call an early elec­tion. At the end of the par­lia­men­tary year, the Mor­ri­son Gov­ern­ment trails La­bor by 10 points in the polls and Shorten goes into 2019 closer to the prime min­is­ter­ship than ever.

For the most part, Fry­den­berg stayed out of the Au­gust lead­er­ship stoush, and it paid off. The Vic­to­rian MP won the sup­port of his col­leagues to take over as deputy leader of the Lib­eral Party and be­come Aus­tralia’s first Jewish Trea­surer.

Of the seven by­elec­tions held in 2018, the most un­likely seat to change hands was for­mer PM Turn­bull’s seat of Went­worth. Phelps’ win robbed the gov­ern­ment of its one-seat ma­jor­ity and re­vealed the true ex­tent of the hid­ing the Lib­eral Party will face at the next elec­tion. Her win rewrote the his­tory books and has made the cross­bench a more in­flu­en­tial voice in Can­berra.

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