tip off

Exit Ted Baillieu

In the culmination of a fast-moving crisis that appeared on the radar less than 48 hours ago, Ted Baillieu has stepped down as Victorian Premier.

In the culmination of a fast-moving crisis that appeared on the radar less than 48 hours ago, Ted Baillieu has stepped down as Victorian Premier. More on that to follow, but for the time being here’s a thread to discuss it.

UPDATE (30 SECONDS LATER): Denis Napthine?!

UPDATE 2: Lacking any substantial understanding of my own concerning Victorian Liberal factional politics, I await further explanation as to why Denis Napthine in particular was left holding the parcel when the music stopped. As Lefty E relates in comments, Barrie Cassidy has apparently told Lateline that Baillieu threatened he “wouldn’t go quietly” if it was anyone but Napthine. Leadership talk had been primarily focused on Planning Minister Matthew Guy, but this was presumably predicated on some scheme to move him to the lower house, which events have moved far too quickly to accommodate (on which note, PB’s resident legal authority Graeme Orr argues in comments that while it’s purely a convention that leaders come from the lower house, it’s sufficiently entrenched a convention that a Governor faced with swearing in a leader from the upper house would likely be advised not to proceed).

Also yet to be explained are the substantial reasons why Baillieu felt resignation the best course of action available to him, and what exactly Geoff Shaw had to with it. For the time being, we are left to suspect that it may have involved Shaw flexing the muscle he has fortuitously acquired as a result of the delicate parliamentary balance. John Ferguson of The Australian offers the following exhaustive list of Shaw’s accomplishments in public life:

Police late last year launched a criminal investigation into Mr Shaw after he was allegedly found to have rorted his taxpayer entitlements over the use of his parliamentary car. In other controversies, Mr Shaw made lewd gestures at the opposition during a question time; likened legalising homosexuality to legalising child molestation, speed driving and murder; was involved in a roadside punch-up with a young motorist in 2011; was fined and put on a good behaviour bond after being charged over a 1992 assault at a Frankston nightclub; and allegedly called Labor MP James Merlino a “midget” in question time.

Having been supported through all this by the leadership of the government, Shaw announced today he could “no longer support the leadership of the government”, taking it upon himself to diagnose a “general loss of confidence Victorians are feeling”.

The situation raises thorny questions about the circumstances in which one should advocate an early election. Although I criticised Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott for overlooking the wishes of their constituents when they cut their deal with the Prime Minister, I have been of the view that their transparent arrangement provided a workable basis for the government to go about its business and answer to its constituents in due course. It seems quite a different matter for a government to be at the fickle mercy of a single opportunist with all manner of question marks surrounding his probity.

That’s not to say an election is realistically in prospect, at least for now. Presumably Shaw will need to stand by the government if he wants to see out his term, and a government that badly needs to right its ship will be entirely content to tolerate the arrangement.

272
  • 1
    Diogenes
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    It is suggested that Shaw is telling Liberals he’d rejoin the party if they replaced Baillieu.

    It would be suicidal if a new Premier was seen to be the pick of a man facing the allegations Shaw now confronts.

    That’s from Bolt. Looks like the whole party might be committing seppuku.

  • 2
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    This is all Gillards fault of course!

  • 3
    lefty e
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Matthew Guy as Premier in the uppr House and Denis Napthine as Leader of the Lower House.

    Yes, what could possibly go wrong. LOL!

    The former is up to his ears in a development scandal and the latter is a failed leader and all-round bozo.

    I smell an early election.

    Possibly the most shambolic first term state govt Ive ever seen. Borbidge in QLD 2nd, but not that close behind.

  • 4
    ruawake
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    So the Minister for Ports, Racing, Regional Cities and Major Projects. Gets the gig.

    No skeletons in that cupboard. :)

  • 5
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    If this is the way wets are treated then the Liberal party is well on its way to tea partyville.

    Which is ironic considering Ted preferred plain boiled water more than tea.

  • 6
    ruawake
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Naptime pt 2.

    First time round he split the Lib-Nat coalition.

  • 7
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m a bit new to all this. How much meat is there on the bones of the idea that Matthew Guy will be Premier of the upper house? Is there a plan that he’ll move to the lower? Or is Denis Napthine going to be the Premier for real?

  • 8
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Where are the tory bridge dwellers ?

    alias – is missing in action….

  • 9
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Premier from the upper house …

  • 10
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Dave, I’ve noticed lately that you have far too much to say about other commenters.

  • 11
    Andrew
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    But Tony told us its only the nasty Labor party that would knife a first term leader of a government??

    Tony ????

  • 12
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    No problem.

    Plenty of meat on their comments.

  • 13
    Diogenes
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    If Shaw rejoins, he has effectively tossed out a premier and there will be endless speculation that it was so he gets preferential treatment in his corruption case.

    That kind of smell doesn’t wash out.

  • 14
    Andrew
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    will Napthine now argue that he is not beholden to Ted’s broken promise (well, according to the carbon tax theory, lie) about teacher’s pay?

  • 15
    Mr Squiggle
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    This is the pro-development faction – Napthine/Guy

    Look out Melbourne, with Roddy DOyle as Lord Mayor in tow, this city is just going to build tower blocks and sell them to Asians

  • 16
    AngoraFish
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    The libs floated the possibility of Matthew Guy as premier from the upper house last week. The idea clearly had no legs or he would be premier now.

  • 17
    Andrew
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes Diogenes, massive smell. MP found to have misused entitlements holds government to ransom and gets premier dumped

  • 18
    Rossmore
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Napthine is the new Premier

  • 19
    ruawake
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Napthine was the stopgap after Kennett, He seems to be a Beazley, the leader you have when nobody really wants the job.

    It was reported on AM that Guy was getting legal opinions about being Premier form the upper house.

  • 20
    Rossmore
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Personal view, I dont think he was knived, but fell on his sword. He stuffed up big time on the Ted’s Tapes and repeated the error on Mitchell this morning. The Shaw thingo was the final straw, coupled with Victoria going into recession today.

  • 21
    victoria
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Rossmore

    I do wonder if there was more to come if he did not resign. kennett belled the cat a few weeks ago, when he publically dissed Ted (they are friends mind you). That is why I suspected something was happening.

  • 22
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    ruawake@19


    Napthine was the stopgap after Kennett, He seems to be a Beazley, the leader you have when nobody really wants the job.

    It was reported on AM that Guy was getting legal opinions about being Premier form the upper house.

    Clearly, abbott will advise the victorian libs to go straight to an election.

    Hasn’t abbott been saying the only way to resolve such issues is to go straight to a fresh election.

  • 23
    AngoraFish
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Something was up well before this evening:

    “Planning Minister Matthew Guy, 39, is widely seen as a top contender for the state’s top job if Premier Ted Baillieu quits or is rolled amid a Government in crisis.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/planning-minister-matthew-guy-a-strong-performer/story-e6frf7jo-1226591551207

    Clearly that balloon didn’t fly.

  • 24
    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    This is about as close to losing an ALP Premier as it gets for a Lib Governent.

    Tedd – resign from Parliament – at least learn from Rudd on this one.

  • 25
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    victoria@21


    Rossmore

    I do wonder if there was more to come if he did not resign. kennett belled the cat a few weeks ago, when he publically dissed Ted (they are friends mind you). That is why I suspected something was happening.

    Well it will be dressed up as something other than what it was – a grubby, divided government who have run the state into recession by adopting tory policies – sackings and cuts to services and education.

    The same as tories in Qld are doing and Kiwi’s and the Brits.

  • 26
    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    @22 – if the Vic Libs Government was propped up by two Dependents whose electorates clearly are biased towards the ALP then that would be reasonable advice. It isn’t.

  • 27
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Liberal MPs emerging in tears from Teds office.

  • 28
    frednk
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Well it will be dressed up as something other than what it was – a grubby, divided government who have run the state into recession by adopting tory policies – sackings and cuts to services and education.

    That about sums it up.

  • 29
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Got a ‘mole’ in Vic parliament building who is contacting me at the moment.

  • 30
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Compact Crank@24


    This is about as close to losing an ALP Premier as it gets for a Lib Governent.

    Tedd – resign from Parliament – at least learn from Rudd on this one.

    Incorrect – he is in fact staying in the Parliament.

    wRONg – again!

  • 31
    lefty e
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Guy might have to put his leadershit aspirations on hold. The only precedents for being head of govt from the upper house involve those doing so temporarily, while quickly arranging for a lower house seat.

    One WA Premier had to resign in 1919 when that didnt happen fast enough.

  • 32
    Player One
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m just waiting for the first Liberal apologist here to start claiming that the electorate will of course clearly differentiate between purely State issues and Federal issues, and that this won’t therefore won’t affect Abbott at all.

    Does anyone know how to set up one of those interweb countdown timer thingies? I’d give it about 5 minutes …

    I’m also waiting for the first “Lib Government in chaos” headline from the OM. But I’d probably have to set that timer to about 5 years ….

  • 33
    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    @15 – Mr Squiggle – since when have property sales been racially based and do you have something against certain racial groups owning property?

  • 34
    alias
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Another snippet for non-Victorians over the stench that seems to be coming from Victorian Liberals:

    Former Liberal Opposition leader Robert Doyle, recently re-elected Melbourne Lord Mayor, received a bunch of donations from donors with shrouded identities, ultimately linked to property development types, The Age reported recently.

  • 35
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    How much hay for Labor from having Jeff Shaw as the Kingmaker of the Liberal party?

  • 36
    alias
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Is there any mechanism in Victoria for an early election given that we have fixed four year terms I wonder?

  • 37
    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    @30 – Dave – I know he hasn’t resigned from Parliament – I’m telling him he should.

    Exactly how is that wrong again?

  • 38
    alias
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    GG .. This is beyond intolerable, and causes me to wonder about an early election.

  • 39
    lefty e
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Guy is not exactly is a great postion to press his claim for other reasons too. Currently residing ‘under a cloud’.

  • 40
    frednk
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    This is about as close to losing an ALP Premier as it gets for a Lib Governent.

    Tedd – resign from Parliament – at least learn from Rudd on this one.

    Tedd resigns, government falls, I doubt it.

  • 41
    zoidlord
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    ABC24 lost the feed with bells ringing in background – fail.

  • 42
    Mod Lib
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I can’t leave you guys for a minute and things happen!!!

    What’s happening to poor old Ted?

  • 43
    dave
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    26 – abbotts ‘advice’ has been to go to a fresh election.

    This would be an ideal time to demonstrate it.

    Election now in Victoria!

    But it probably doesn’t matter much – the Victorian tories are still divided as they are in the NT.

    Whats this thing about ex military politicians being rejected by their parties/ voters?

  • 44
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    The theme so far is that Bailleau has not said why he resigned as Premier. Surely, the people of Victoria needs to be told the truth.

  • 45
    frednk
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    alias
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Is there any mechanism in Victoria for an early election given that we have fixed four year terms I wonder?

    No confidence motion, Tedd follows CC’s advice would do nicely.

  • 46
    Compact Crank
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    @32 – this might actually work well for Federal Liberals – Red Tedd was virtually an ALP Premier as it was so losing him, especially in the laggard state of Vic so reliant on Federal largess – I just don’t see much downside – a few more polls will tell.

  • 47
    lefty e
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Guy might go for Ted’s seat.

    Not that it matters: the ALP leader Andrew Whathisname (hey at least I know his first name now) will be Premier within a year. And quite possibly earlier.

  • 48
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    36

    In the event of a vote of no confidence there is.

  • 49
    Diogenes
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    GG

    Makes me wonder if Napthine will be a caretaker Premier and make the unpopular crap decisions like nobbling the Shaw investigation and then stand down “for the good of the party”.

    I can’t see how they can spin any other way out of it.

  • 50
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Mod Lib,

    Reality is what happens to you when you are equivocating about other things.

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