As both sides played the tactics, a remarkable thing happened in the House of Representatives: behaviour improved 100 per cent, with none of the usual screaming and exchanges of insults.
Ministers scrapping publicly over whether our embassy should be relocated is adding to the perception of government disunity and fanning the friction the issue has already caused with our neighbours, writes Michelle Grattan.
It’s very hard for a crossbencher to get into the House of Representatives. But when they do, these small players can be difficult to blast out, for reasons revealed again in research carried out in the South Australian seat of Mayo this week.
What changed? The story had gone from something potentially containable to a cluster bomb damaging the whole government, and presumably feeding into the next Newspoll.
The Queensland election was decided overwhelmingly on state factors, but it will inevitably have fallout for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writes political commentator Michelle Grattan.