In July, Malcolm Turnbull, who enjoyed a one-seat majority in parliament after a near-disastrous 2016 election in which he had been expected to romp to victory and cement his authority, visited the UK to meet Theresa May, who was in minority government after a near-disastrous 2017 election in which she had been expected to romp to victory and cement her authority. The Australian prime minister advised his UK counterpart to govern with confidence, as if she had a 100-seat majority (coincidentally, the majority some pundits had forecast she would actually achieve).

Within months, it became clear that the challenge for both leaders was to govern at all, let alone confidently, as scandals, blunders, destabilisation and ideological obsessives turned their governments into shambles and encouraged regular speculation that they would be replaced.