Reporting of the Queensland conservative power plays is concentrating on Canberra.

Some spectacular stories are being thrown up – the tales of mushroom Mark Vaile and suggestions that the Nationals leader will swap his Trade portfolio for something that will keep him home with his riven party .

However, as it looks increasingly certain that the prime minister will stare down the revolt, the focus is swinging back to Queensland.

Sources on the ground there are pointing to who would benefit the most from a merger – and suggesting that the plan may have been embraced by the Nationals and Liberal leaders as a way to keep their jobs.

Under the plan, Nationals leader Lawrence Springborg will become leader of the new entity. That’s useful for him, because as things stand now the Liberals could well emerge with more members if Peter Beattie is belted in next year’s state elections.

But Liberal leader Bob Quinn doesn’t lose out, either. He’s set to become deputy under the plan – which protects his position against a threatened challenge from high profile Liberal health spokesman Bruce Flegg.

Winners all round.

Meanwhile, we have received a tip on a new name for the new Liberal/National entity: “The Laterals – because they’re obviously going sideways.”

Peter Fray

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