Our piece on Martin Hamilton-Smith, in which we asked whether he was Australia's biggest turncoat, prompted a wave of feedback from readers about who really deserved that title. So in the interests of completionism, Crikey has talked to a group of Australian political historians about their favourites. Here's our first installment, in no particular order:

Mal Colston

Colston was an ALP senator and Doctor of Philosophy, elected 1975. After 20 fairly nondescript years -- aside from perpetual questions surrounding his use of expenses -- and frustrated by his lack of progress up the ranks, he jumped ship in 1996. He quit the ALP and stayed in the Senate as an independent, giving his vote to the new Howard government, which they needed for the privatisation of Telstra (a policy vehemently opposed by Labor at the time). He was rewarded with election to Senate vice president for his trouble.