Former Liberal, independent member for Chisholm, Julia Banks (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Yesterday was to be Scott Morrison's relaunch: he'd move on from the Victorian disaster, and another rotten Newspoll, by seizing the agenda: lay out the timetable for the 2019 budget and in effect fire the gun on an extended election campaign to culminate in mid-May. A return to surplus would provide the fuel for a Morrison surge to victory. There was even an hilarious story from the Liberals' go-to News Corp hack, Simon Benson, in The Australian, about Morrison launching an "intimate war" against Shorten.

But the PM barely had time to slip into something more comfortable before the whole thing was blown up by Julia Banks, who savaged the "reactionary right wing" of her own party and "the level of regard and respect for women in politics" and left his party. Nothing could better illustrate how the deep-seated problems of this government can't be papered over with a veneer of politics-as-usual from a Prime Minister hopelessly out of his depth.