Wow. Now that was what I call excitement. But in all the toooing and throwing everyone is missing an important element here. Malcolm Turnbull may just have pulled off the most strategic play of all time.
Firstly let's just note that the two great Liberal Party icons - Menzies and Howard - were both ditched from the leadership (Menzies by the UAP) before going on to their reigns of glory. Both men at the point of being dismissed were reviled as divisive negative elements.
Secondly let's note that there is almost no chance of the coalition winning the next election. Most importantly on the biggest issue, managing the economy, Rudd/Swan/Tanner just are unbeatable. On climate change the issue seems to be that people don't understand the CPRS not that they don't like it. The most the coalition can mount is a fear campaign and they will need something more than that to win (fear campagns work better at keeoping oppositions out than ejecting Governments).
All parties have shown themselves relatively unforgiving of leaders who lose. The Liberals will be no different. And as long as Malcolm does stay put he will be the logical choice.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't Malcolm's objective to lose the leadership - but losing it, doing so as a matter of principle and declaring war on the conservatives was a good second best. A very very good second best.
Meanwhile Julie Bishop has retained the deputy's job. At the press conference I'll swear Tony Abbott said this was because "she is a good looking girl". My own thinking is that its because when she says "I support you" no one can tell who she is looking at when she says it!
Meanwhile it is an interesting aside that the three leadership contenders are all from Sydney, all did combined law at the University of Sydney, all went to GPS schools (I think), all are Catholics. Plus they all were active in aspects of University life - Abbott and Hockey were both President's of the SRC while Turnbull was a Director of the USU.