OPINION: Prime Minister on borrowed time
OPINION, by David Moase, The Daily Examiner editor
YOU could hear the sigh of relief all the way from Canberra after the Liberal Party defeated the move to spill the leadership 61 votes to 39.
The relief was not in the Prime Minister's office, but on the ALP side of Parliament House.
There would have been few people happier to see the continuation of the stumbling prime ministership of Tony Abbott than Bill Shorten and his team.
Right now the PM is the best thing Labor has going for it, as the polls consistently indicate.
Tony Abbott may have won enough votes to survive but he is on borrowed time.
When nearly 40% of your party effectively votes against your leadership, even though there is no official alternative, it is a devastating blow.
Considering the cabinet and junior ministers were obligated to support the leadership, the percentage of those who had a free vote that don't like the job the PM is doing is evidently far higher.
Mr Abbott has kept his position for the immediate future but he will not have much time to turn around his performance and that of his government.
Based on the vote in the party meeting he is one more "captain's call" or one policy backflip away from facing another challenge, a challenge that would almost certainly be successful.
Read the coverage here.