Tony Abbott's not the first Opposition Leader to be embarrassed by his party's base outside federal parliament.

In 1996, Kim Beazley was caught out when a mass union rally in Canberra turned violent and CFMEU protesters smashed their way into the front of Parliament House. A bloodied union official, the CFMEU’s Davie Thomason barged onto the stage down on the lawns where Beazley and then-Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot were addressing the official rally and, waving a police shield, yelled "look what we got from the coppers". You could see the fury on Beazley’s face as he realised how the whole day would now play into John Howard’s hands.