Whatever may happen in the email affair and the pursuit of Wayne Swan, Coalition unity is starting to fracture badly on high-profile policy issues.

Last night the Coalition leadership lost control of the alcopops vote when Coalition rebels — Wilson Tuckey, Paul Neville, Alby Schultz and Darren Chester — called for a division on the bill which the Coalition had reversed its position and decided to support. Tony Windsor joined them in voting against the bill, while all other Coalition MPs abstained. It’s not often you’ll see Alby Schultz siding so clearly with the Nats.

The vote could have been passed on the voices but the rebels insisted on demonstrating they were making a stand against the excise increase — and embarrassing their colleagues, who had to abstain or join Government members voting for it.

It is testament to how weak and distracted the Turnbull team is at the moment that they could not be pulled into line, although Warren Truss deserves some responsibility for letting Neville and Chester off the reservation.

There was more to come in this morning’s joint-party meeting. There may yet be another revolt, from moderates such as Petro Georgiou, over government legislation to end the practice of charging sucessful refugee applicants for the cost of their detention. This morning’s party room featured debate and a reaffirmation of the coalition’s position to retain the charges. Dissent has also broken out on the renewable energy target issue, with a number of MPs expressing concern about the adequacy of renewables technology, others complaining about market distortion, and still others claiming the target is simply unreachable.

The Coalition is ostensibly supportive of the target, as long as the compensation arrangements in the relevant bill can be de-linked from the CPRS bill. There will not be a vote on the bill until August courtesy of a Senate inquiry, which may give opponents of the target — primarily in the National Party — time to mobilise support against it in the party room.

The CPRS tensions both within the Liberals and between the Nationals and the Liberals of course remain unresolved.

And it is not clear that Turnbull has the leadership strength to handle them at the moment.