From Laura Tingle:
A quick count of numbers after two West Australian MPs surprised virtually everyone in the party by formally moving for a leadership spill suggested Tony Abbott could rely on 55 or 56 votes in the 102-member party room. He needed at least 70 to emerge with any ongoing authority in tact.
…The events of the past week have revealed a government of spectacular dysfunction. Even as it has enjoyed strong tailwinds from a slathering media, supportive business community and lobby groups, as well as an unprecedented period of leadership stability, revelations that have emerged in the wake of the spill about the way the government’s internal policy processes don’t work – from submarines policy to health policy – are truly alarming.
…The vote in Monday’s leadership spill: 39 votes for a spill and 61 against (and in support of the Prime Minister) has left many questions. There’s been lots of attention paid to how many ministers may have peeled off in the secret ballot to vote for the spill.
But more important for what happens next are questions such as how many MPs voted against the spill because they didn’t believe the timing was right, or how many voted for or against the spill because they believed it might favour or work against their own preferred alternative candidate.
And there is the hugely significant question of what the Prime Minister may have promised other MPs if he was prepared to make such a spectacular backdown on the question of submarines to get two South Australian votes. For it appears that, at some point over the weekend, Abbott was able to claw back at least five votes.
Power above all.