awoke this morning to a scoop in the Herald Sun that stated Liberal leader
Robert Doyle was going. He has.
A leadership ballot will be held on Monday. But does that mean that Jeff Kennett
will be back at the helm? Well…
sources say that they were taken by surprise by the news. They also dispute
claims in the Hun that a decision by Phil Davis and Andrea Coote to withdraw
their support forced Doyle’s hand. Indeed, there could be a certain “F*ck you!”
element in all of this.
Victorian Liberals have forced their captain off the ship. The 25
November state election is looming up ahead like a mighty iceberg.
They’re going to be hit
hard – and sitting Liberal MPs want to make sure they have a place in
lifeboats. Throwing Doyle overboard has given them some extra space to
though, may have seen what was coming and jumped before he got pushed. There’s
certainly been much muttering about the mutineers this morning – Ted Baillieu
in particular. He’s been accused of rocking the boat – while being unwilling to
take the responsibility of steering the Victorian Libs into less treacherous
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
So who will
become leader? Most observers believe that current deputy Louise Asher will
take the job. Liberals dismiss the Jeff talk, although one prominent figure
mentioned his name this morning – his buddy Peter Costello.
option remains. Doyle is vacating his safe seat of Malvern. Insiders say it is
possible under party rules for Jeff to become leader without being an MP. They
point to the way MLCs have become leaders pending their progress to the lower
house – or the way in which Senator John Gorton became PM.
other people may have their eyes on Malvern – MLC and powerbroker David Davis,
for example. Costello’s talk is yet another Caine Mutiny style exchange between
though, a Morgan Poll we recently ran found that in April 38% of voters wanted Jeff as Liberal leader…