When the Turnbull government won the last election by just one seat it was generally felt that they would probably survive the next three years with the aid of a sympathetic media willing to gloss over their vulnerable areas.
Unlike the minority Gillard government, which had to bring all its negotiating skills to the table and stare down a viciously anti-Labor reaction, the Turnbull administration has blundered along, bouncing from one crisis to another protected from a public backlash by a sympathetic media.
Thus, they have managed to last a little over a year despite having lost the confidence of the people and having exposed their obvious inadequacies for all to see.
The ineptitude and incompetence they have displayed since election night has been breathtaking as they have drifted from uncertainty to disbelief. It draws to mind the lyrics from the musical, ‘Les Miserables’ when Mrs Thenadier laments, “I used to dream that I would meet a prince, but God Almighty, have you seen what’s happened since.”
The only reason they are able to present themselves in any recognisably coherent form is because very few are paying attention. The press are so consumed with the incompetence of the Trump administration.
One gets the feeling, however, things are about to change.
Over the past month the public has seen Scott Morrison answer Leigh Sales very soft questions on the ABC’s 7.30 and felt lulled into believing that we were already experiencing a rebounding economy, except that we are not. The release of the HILDA survey gives us a picture of an economy that is haemorrhaging in a sea of private debt.
Anyone watching Josh Frydenburg try to defend coal in favour of renewables could be forgiven for feeling sorry for him. Anyone experiencing difficulties with the NBN are beginning to realise it has been downgraded to a second class service.
Not that the government would notice any of this. They are so haemorrhaging themselves in a sea of acrimonious bloodletting over one relatively minor issue, that of marriage equality, that the business of government has been relegated to second place.
And now, it seems, even the media have begun to desert them.
The constant barrage of assaults coming from the conservative wing of the Liberal party and led by Tony Abbott has so seduced the media overall, that they have forgotten they are supposed to be conservative friendly. They are making their vicious treatment of Julia Gillard, five years ago, look positively childlike by comparison.
Will the government see out its present term? Things are not looking good. The legitimacy of their one seat majority is looking very shaky. If Barnaby Joyce has to face a bi-election to win his seat back, a very real possibility, who knows how that will play out.
Furthermore, an election in 2018 is inevitable if bringing the senate back into sync is considered politically important. And it is. No one wants half senate elections held separately from general elections. It’s too risky.
So, with the looming marriage equality postal survey likely to result in a ‘yes’ win, Turnbull will then have to support a private member’s bill which could lose him any remaining support from the conservative wing of his own party.
Perhaps he will consider an early poll around April next year to put himself beyond the carpetbaggers in his own party who have their own sinister agenda and would like to see him gone.
But who knows? By then they may already have lost their majority.