Tony Abbott said at a press conference this morning that the spill vote scheduled for Tuesday will now be held at 9am on Monday. I would guess this change is partly driven to avoid the embarrassment of Monday’s house session where Abbot would have been enthusiastically attacked by the opposition.
Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull has called for any leadership ballot that might arise if the spill motion is successful to be secret. Obviously he feels that those who might show disloyalty to Tony Abbott will be protected from retribution if the vote supports Abbott’s continued leadership.
Progressives are making hay over opinion polls that support replacing Abbott with Turnbull, however they forget such polls will not necessarily translate into electoral victory for the Nationals because many who think Turnbull the better option than Abbott will still vote Labor.
For example the recent Galaxy poll showed 55% thought Abbott should stand down, and 35% thought he should stay, but the poll also found that with Turnbull as PM the Coalition would still trail Labor with a 49:51 two-party preferred vote.
Turnbull as leader represents capitulation to Progressive political forces. His election to leadership would infuriate Conservative supporters and possibly lead to a National Party split from the Liberals.