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‘Peter Dutton will not be the only contender’: Dennis Shanahan on crumbling Liberal leadership

With the Liberal leadership growing more precarious by the day, speculation around who might supersede Turnbull in the event of a leadership spill is rife.

Though the NEG has become emblematic of a Coalition leadership plagued by fragility, the NEG  seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to leadership dissidence in the partyroom.

When all is said and done, the underlying reason for the friction is a Labor-lite leader, whose done away with traditional conservative values and jumped ideological ship.

“The whole problem here is beyond energy,” says The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan.

“Energy is a proxy. It’s not the core problem for Turnbull’s party. The core problem is about the abandonment of conservative values.”

“This is happening because the conservative partyroom has caught up with the LNP base,” Michael McLaren adds.

“Their main gripe is a process of policy creep, the leadership is absorbed by Labor ideas, narrowing the point of difference and alienating the right.”

Nevertheless, Shanahan says that the vexed energy debate has catalysed a rebellion that might get too big for the PM to control.

“The big problem for Turnbull now is that his idea of placating the energy rebels is actually growing into more of a rebellion.”

“But I don’t think in the current circumstances, that Peter Dutton will be the only (leadership) contender. I think if Turnbull’s leadership continues to crumble, there will be more then one who wants to take over the position of being PM of Australia.”