Dear Libs, if you're going to ditch Mal, don't send Pete
NOT quite sure what Peter Dutton and his supporters were thinking this week.
The party dodged a bullet in that vote. Mr Dutton is already on the nose and he's never even been in the hottest hot seat.
His ego must be as big as his head. Or was it all just a charade? A curtain opener to the main event? An entree to the main course?
While the challenge over the prime ministership was ostensibly about energy policy, the true source of the leadership tensions goes much deeper.
Mr Dutton was seen as an alternative leader who could better represent the conservative wing of the party, which is not interested in locking Australia into ambitious carbon emissions cuts.
Mr Turnbull has gutted two of his own signature policies in an effort to save himself, removing the carbon emissions target from the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and depriving the big four banks of his company tax cuts.
Last week, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien made his position on the NEG clear after initially threatening to cross the floor over it.
Uranium, coal and gas were all part of the cheap power recipe Australians were entitled to, he said.
Renewables were also part of that formula, as long as they stood up without subsidies and helped deliver the cheapest electricity in the world instead of one of the most expensive.
Whatever happens next, here is my advice to the Liberals (for what it's worth): If you are going to ditch Malcolm, offer us a better alternative than Peter Dutton.