Leadership speculation is rife again in Canberra. Backbenchers are complaining to journalists; frontbenchers are saying it's all nonsense; media companies are feeding it all with cheeky push polling. The nation united against Tony Abbott's decision to award an Australian knighthood to gaffe-prone Prince Philip, and with bruising debates about Medicare, university fees and workplace relations around the corner, things may not get much better for the embattled PM.
It couldn't happen again, surely? Not so soon after the Rudd/Gillard fiasco? On the other hand, when political parties panic they do crazy things.
On the principle that the crowd knows more than each of its constituents, the Monthly wants to know your answers to two questions: What will be Tony Abbott's final day as PM? And who will replace him?
- The entrant who guesses correctly Abbott's replacement and gets closest to the eventual date of his departure will win at least $1000 cash. The cash amount jackpots on 1 January each year that Abbott remains prime minister. So if Abbott's last day as PM is in 2016, the winner receives $2000. If his last day is in 2017, $3000. And so on. (Further terms and conditions here.)
- Everyone who votes on or before 28 February 2015 will go into a draw to win a year's subscription to their choice of the Monthly, The Saturday Paper or the Quarterly Essay.
- The winner's name will be published on the websites of both the Monthly and The Saturday Paper. Psephological fame and fortune beckons.
- First sitting day this year: 9 February 2015
- 2015 federal budget: 12 May 2015 (likely)
- Last Coalition party-room meeting before winter break: 23 June 2015 (at the time of writing)
- Final sitting day this year: 3 December 2015
- Next federal election: On or before 14 January 2017
- Abbott becomes longest-serving PM: 27 October 2029 or 1 March 2032 (depending on whether you're including Menzies' first stint)