Malcolm Turnbull

One of the recent criticisms being levelled by supporters of Tony Abbott against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is that the government relinquished a political advantage by moving closer to Labor with this month’s budget. According to the delcons, “politics is about maximising differences”.

This blunt interpretation of the political maxim is unsurprising. Abbott’s reputation as a formidable opposition leader was based on him maximising the difference between the Coalition and Labor by opposing much of the Rudd and Gillard governments’ policy agenda.