In strictly formal terms, the Prime Minister's future will be determined by the Liberal party room, perhaps on Tuesday, perhaps at a future date.

The practical reality, however, is that it now lies firmly in the hands of a man who has no vote in the party room, no party status and one vote at elections. His name is Chris Mitchell, he runs The Australian, and he now finds himself -- not uncomfortably -- in the position of prime ministerial king-maker.