Malcolm Turnbull declared that the by-election in Longman was a test of leadership between himself and Bill Shorten …
He went on to tell ABC Brisbane radio that the contest was not just between candidates Trevor Ruthenberg and Susan Lamb,”It’s a test of the parties, but it’s really about the people of Longman deciding whether they want to vote for Bill Shorten and his higher taxes, fewer jobs, lower wages and less economic growth:
“The contest is between me and Bill Shorten as the prime minister and the opposition leader,” Mr Turnbull said.
Turnbull now has a very difficult decision to make: whether to resign as leader of the Liberal party or leaves it to a party room challenge from a reinvigorated right-wing who cannot wait to claim his scalp.
The result in Longman (and Braddon, and Perth, and Fremantle and Mayo) is a repudiation of Turnbull and the Liberal party who have thrown everything at Shorten over recent weeks and vastly outspent the Labor party. As prime minister, having put his leadership squarely on the line, his position as leader is now untenable and if he places his future in the hands of his colleagues we can expect him to be dumped and that will give us Peter Dutton and the Abbott rabble followed closely and inevitably by the demise of the Liberal party.