‘Uneasy lies the head‘, Inside Story, 15 September 2015
Australia’s leading scholar of prime ministerial departures examines the latest one in its historical context, noting the difficulty that recent prime ministers (Hawke, Rudd, Gillard) have had in surviving full terms. But he also makes points about the substance of incumbents.
Now [Abjorensen concludes], a majority of Abbott’s colleagues have come to see what many observers knew long ago: that there was little depth to the driving ambition. The swagger, intended to convey purpose and determination, was suggestive of an eternal student politician trying to look like the real thing. The surprising thing is that he survived as prime minister for so long.
Abjorensen’s book on prime ministerial exits, The Manner of Their Going, will be published in October and reviewed in Honest History. Draft chapters of it are here and here and an interview with Abjorensen is here. Related material on leadership turnover in all jurisdictions is here.