Dennis Shanahan in The Australian:
THE public momentum for a leadership challenge to Tony Abbott is losing pace but the guerilla war continues and could still force a showdown for the prime ministership in Canberra on Tuesday.As more Liberal MPs realise the enormity of trying to remove a first-term leader in a bloody and disorganised fight without a clear replacement, enthusiasm for a spill is waning. A senior cabinet minister told The Australian last night it looked like people were pulling back “from the brink”.
Steven Scott in The Courier Mail:
MALCOLM Turnbull is firming as the man most likely to be the nation’s next prime minister – and it could happen as early as next week.With leadership speculation consuming the federal Coalition, some MPs are now determined to resolve the issue at a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday in Canberra.And while Cabinet ministers are publicly backing Mr Abbott, there is a growing mood in the partyroom that his hold on the nation’s top job is now tenuous.
Mark Kenny in The Sydney Morning Herald:
Malcolm Turnbull has denied telephoning Liberals to canvass support as former minister Arthur Sinodinos became the most senior Liberal to question the judgment of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.Senator Sinodinos, a former Abbott loyalist, described his support for the stricken leader as ‘‘ongoing’’ but ‘‘not unconditional’’.Asked if Mr Abbott would be Prime Minister next week, Senator Sinodinos replied: ‘‘Comrade, ask me next week.’’Liberals viewed that intervention as crucial with one calling it ‘‘extremely telling’’.‘‘Arthur’s comment makes it much more serious,’’ said another senior Liberal. ‘‘People will now look around to see if someone is starting to count for an actual candidate.’’