Day by day, the Victorian Liberal Party looks more and more like the Federal Labor Party.

Peter Costello has come out praising leader Robert Doyle, saying he has re-invigorated the parliamentary party (although the only invigoration seems to be of his opponents).

And it’s an odd endorsement given that, at present, Ted Baillieu has the numbers to roll Doyle if he wanted to. But does he want to? Two theories account for the curious case of a potential leader with the numbers not using them.

First, there’s a general feeling that the next election loss is a foregone conclusion, so leave the lame duck there with shades of Kim. Then there’s the strong control the Costello-Kroger faction has over the Victorian party. Why become leader and spend all your time being undermined by the party machine and the dominant faction? Much easier to wait until after an election where the party might do a Latham and go backwards – and then become leader.

But what sort of potential federal leader does this suggest Costello might make – a bit like those ALP apparatchiks who are more concerned with their factional interests than winning?

Perhaps there’s something in the rumours around Melbourne that come December, Costello plans to publicly ask about the transition – and then head for the backbench if he doesn’t get the right answer. Probably a very long stint on the backbench before a new career in the private sector, going by his support in the party room.

And more from the rumours department …

There seems to be a lot of interest in Liberal ad guru Ted Horton and his tax situation – but an equal amount of interest in the interest from his learned friends. Who will prevail?