Having been Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Morrison Government since 2018, and was also appointed Minister for Women in 2019, and with a looming leadership crisis within the Federal Liberal Party, there is a possibility that Marise Payne may be elected leader. Although Payne is a Senator there is a precedent. Senator Gorton was elected leader, became Prime Minister and was then successfully elected to the Lower House in a by-election. Good Grief! Was that in 1968? Nearly 50 years ago!
Payne has a number of advantages over Peter Dutton, the obvious Morrison replacement now that Porter has lost his place at the head of the queue.
First and foremost, she is not universally disliked and mistrusted. Peter Dutton carries a lot of very negative baggage and would be a severe electoral disadvantage for the Liberal Party. This would probably still be true even with a major Murdoch campaign to turn him into the guy next door.
Secondly, there is a spreading panic within Liberal Parties across Australia following the McGowan Landslide in Western Australia. The first signs have begun to appear with a snap spill in the Victorian party room.
Thirdly, she is a woman in the midst of a Women-led protest at the age old gender status quo.The potential for her to reclaim the Liberal female vote is great. After all, it worked with Julia Gillard. And Payne is also a redhead!
Fourthly, as the ‘yes-woman’ she has become, the men who will promote her know that she will do as she is told. She may not iron shirts for the party leadership but she would be trusted to keep the seat warm while a more electable male is groomed.