The results from the Queensland election will be in. If it goes badly for Campbell Newman, the federal Liberal Party herd could stampede, taking out the Prime Minister.
The loss of Victoria is still fresh in their minds.
Whether the Liberal National Party in Queensland is defeated, or seriously degraded, and whether it was directly attributable to Abbott or not, his disconnect with the Australian public is now an established national talking point.
When people from the Right and the Left of politics, both inside the parties and out, share the view that he is badly out of touch, he has a serious problem.
Julie Bishop does not. As Abbott was announcing the knighthood of Prince Philip, the Foreign Minister was in Kabul, Afghanistan, wearing a helmet and ballistic vest, talking to the troops.
This was just 24 hours after a huge roadside bomb went off near the Aussie camp. Bishop said she was glad to be there. Back home, Abbott was doing a Robert Menzies impersonation.
Bishop seems the only likely replacement for Abbott. Joe Hockey carries heavy budget baggage; Malcolm Turnbull is not trusted by his party; and Scott Morrison might be too hard-bitten — or too unknown — for public consumption.
The knighthood to Prince Philip may be the final straw. It isn’t that honouring the Prince was wrong (we made him ONZ in 2012), but that to do it on Australia Day, and as part of the first batch of restored titular honours. The fact it was a titular honour also adds to the ridicule – knighting a Duke!
He has been tone deaf on a number of issues, such as claiming the best thing his Government has done for women is abolish the carbon tax as they do more of the shopping (paraphrased).
I’ve met Julie Bishop. She is a formidable politician (was Deputy to three different leaders) and has wide spread respect and support. She could well end up Prime Minister this year.