On Q&A last night, New South Wales Senator Arthur Sinodinos very mildly challenged his party on the topic of the Newstart allowance: "Over time [Newstart] should be higher. That’s probably a slightly radical thing for me to say here … but my observation is this does raise an issue that should be considered at some stage."

Sinodinos noted he was expressing a "personal view" not government policy. So, what has brought on this long-resisted shift from a high profile Liberal? Could the coming election (and the Coalition's expected loss) have anything to do with it?