Now the conservatives are trying to use the moment of Turnbull’s weakness to stand on his neck with a series of demands, including a greater role for one of their number, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, promotion of more conservatives, and changes to the superannuation policy. It was reported at the weekend that Turnbull “is reaching out to conservative Liberals … offering an enhanced role for Peter Dutton in leadership strategy and preparing to promote a new generation of right-wing MPs”.
It is worth remembering a couple of points. The Coalition nearly lost to Labor, which is on its left. If Turnbull panders too much to the conservatives – to whom he gave ground in the process of becoming leader – he will alienate many ordinary centrist voters.