The opposition should test the government’s numbers on the floor of parliament with a vote of no-confidence when it resumes on May 8. While the coalition would lose the vote, it would be helpful to Abbott’s political cause, particularly if there was a tied vote. If one assumes that Peter Slipper sides with the government and Andrew Wilkie against it, the numbers would be 74 a piece – with a casting vote having to be decided by the Labor speaker (who by convention votes for the status quo).
If there was a tied vote, Abbott would prosecute that the Gillard government has a bare majority in the House of Representatives. It would also allow him to paint Windsor, Oakeshott and Slipper as going against the will of the people – siding with a hugely unpopular government.