Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Another PM heads for toilet after fighting off spill

TO PARAPHRASE a poet whose name is an anagram for toilets, TS Eliot, September has been the cruellest month for Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.

If the man who is about to become our latest former prime minister can hang on to his post for a few more weeks - and that's looking a big ask - he will enter a month that figures inordinately in his roller-coaster political career.

On September 16, 2008 he became Leader of the Opposition. Five years, two days and a leadership spill later, he found himself the Minister for Communications in Tony Abbott's budget-troubled government.

Then, the big one. With Abbott's 30 consecutive negative Newspolls in his backpack, Turnbull swept to power on September 14, 2015.

If his party chooses to put him out of his misery sometime next month, it will be a rare neat end to a prime ministerial voyage that promised much initially, but began to list badly after he hit rocks on a tack to starboard.

Weighed down with his own 39 lost Newspolls, all that's left now is a hand held up above the waves.

Yesterday's 48-35 victory over former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in the leadership spill is yet another illusion of success.

Calling the spill caught the PM's pursuer off guard, but Dutton was still able to muster 35 votes. As early as tomorrow he might have the final seven he needs to complete the kill.

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