Stuart Ayres knows a great deal about the lifecycle of a politician, and over the past few weeks he has seen himself enter the end stage that eventually claims so many. In Ayres' ever-upward rise as deputy Liberal leader, the Barilaro affair had appeared to be a temporary speedbump.
Now it may mean something more, with Ayres being forced to resign from the Perrottet ministry -- a sinking politician in a sinking government.
For the past few weeks, Ayres' personal fight for survival has infected and magnified the problems of the Perrottet government. It too has entered its own end-stage -- that slipping-on-its-own-vomit moment when internal party dynamics well and truly trump the public interest.