Wentworth byelection
Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma, and Scott Morrison

If the Liberal Party has learned nothing else in recent months -- and you can pretty much write your own punchline at this point -- they are at least showing a newly acquired appreciation of the importance of tamping down expectations ahead of a tough byelection.

It was a very different story before Super Saturday in late July, when expectations reigned of a looming humiliation for Bill Shorten, and every tweak of Anthony Albanese's eyebrow was interpreted as positioning for its aftermath.