It is all over for Tony Abbott.
He survived a spill motion in today’s parliamentary Liberal Party meeting 61 votes to 39.
But the consensus is that he will not lead the coalition to the next election, due before September next year.
This is almost certain.
A NewsPoll public opinion survey released today has the ALP in an overwhelming position with a two-party preferred vote of 57 to 43.
Any election with those numbers would mean a wipe-out for the Liberal-National coalition and a Labor government would hold a comfortable majority.
Only a week ago Tony Abbott was addressing the National Press Club to outline his government’s agenda for 2015 and to push what has been called the “reset” button in an attempt to reboot his personal popularity and voter sentiment about the government he leads.
By the end of last week, two Western Australian backbenchers were so spooked by the negative reaction to Abbott’s NPC speech that they had called for a party room vote on his leadership.
After four days of speculation and furious lobbying, Abbott has held on to the party leadership and therefore the Prime Minister’s office, but only just.
Nobody expects this to be over.