Liberals libspill

After the leadership spill, the parliamentary theatre comes. The vanquished take their place on the backbench; the victor the chair at the Despatch Box, the opposition prepares to attack. And so it unfolded Tuesday afternoon after the morning's Liberal leadership ballot. Peter Dutton took a position up at the far back; Malcolm Turnbull took his usual seat as Prime Minister, but one with the support of less than 60% of his colleagues.

Labor wasted little time in attacking, moving a motion of no confidence in Turnbull -- the first of this near-hung parliament -- after the first question, which the government, instead of rejecting, took on, "with relish" Christopher Pyne declared. It was an eccentric tactical choice by Labor, forgoing the opportunity to build momentum and pressure with questions aimed at ministers about their support for Turnbull. But at least, instead of the artificial and silly rules of engagement of question time, we would have the heavy hitters of both sides lining up to take their best shots.