Speaking on Sky News, Credlin warned the prime minister to “stem the bleeding to the right”, reminding him she knows “what it takes to win elections”.
This morning, Turnbull defeated Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton by 48 votes to 35, but given the small margin, he faces the possibility of another challenge in the near future.
Credlin said emphatically that Turnbull’s death warrant has been “signed”.
“The main feeling tonight is sadness about the disintegration of what should have been a good government that was first elected to bring an end to this sort of political assassination politics that was so much a feature of the former Labor government,” she said.
She recalled the “united days of opposition when the Coalition, watching from ringside seats saw Julia Gillard tear down Kevin Rudd until her diabolical run of polls saw the Labor Party do what they swore they never would – that was to return Kevin Rudd to the top job”.
Credlin said Abbott’s win in 2013 was meant to be a “return to the good old days when leaders said what they meant and did what they said, like John Howard, and trust and loyalty were once again the hallmark of people lucky enough to sit on ministerial leather and make the decisions we all have to live by”.
“Let’s be very clear here – Malcolm Turnbull never stayed in the Parliament to be somebody else’s Minister. Tony Abbott always felt that Turnbull was owed a place in Cabinet as a former leader and that, of course, was Abbott’s undoing,” she said.
“As we’ve seen it play out over the past seven days there’s not a principle Turnbull won’t junk, a policy he won’t change, an individual he won’t attack in order to survive and survive he has again today.
“But with 35 votes against the prime minister following his clever ambush spill against himself today, mark my words, his death warrant has been signed and the scaffolding’s been built, it’s only now a matter of time.”
Credlin was critical of Turnbull leaving Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and Dutton on the backbench but she said the Coalition’s most “urgent job” is to get their “supporters back on side and stem the bleeding to the right”.
“I know what it takes to help win elections,” she said.
“I worked with Abbott when he took 25 seats off Labor, so I’ve no doubt that Bill Shorten is beatable but only by a Coalition with policies it believes in that can be easily explained to voters.
“Today in the party room following the spill, the prime minister demanded unity and loyalty,” Credlin said.
“I told you, he is shameless. Malcolm Turnbull has no right to demand loyalty from anyone.”
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