Something that’s become apparent over recent weeks is how much Tony Abbott has relied on Labor’s long habit of presenting him with blunders to exploit. He's dined on them with relish, on the carbon price and the Prime Minister’s pre-election commitment, on asylum seekers, on Labor’s internal tensions. But it seems he became addicted to them. And now they’re in considerably shorter supply.

Since the start of July, when the carbon price started, Labor’s limited but clear recovery in the polls began and the government called on Angus Houston and friends to pull together a solution on asylum seekers, the government’s once sublime capacity for damaging stumbles has been curtailed.