The Courier-Mail


- Dennis Atkins is The Courier-Mail’s national affairs editor.

February or March 2016, means it would take crazy, brave courage to revisit changing leaders.

This, and Bill Shorten’s lack of impact and low approval, is Abbott’s security blanket and he will cling to it with dear life.

What backbenche­rs want is a road map to the future of the Government – a defining purpose beyond what Abbott and his coterie are against. The mantra of lower tax, smaller government, jobs and growth is fine, but it needs substance, particular­ly because there is no real prospect of tax relief, growth projection­s are being downgraded and unemployme­nt is at a 20-year high in raw numbers.

One Liberal who was an enthusiast­ic supporter of spilling the leadership in February, this week dismissed the last six months as “treading water”.

He said the Government has had the longest run of losing Newspolls in history, and Abbott has done nothing to turn that around.

“All he’s done is shore up his job and moderated his behaviour enough to calm down enough of the troops,” said this marginal seat-holder.

“If the election is 12 months away, there’s time to get the show back on the rails but to be honest there’s little faith that can happen.”

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