Early expectations among some that he would use his ascension to drag the federal Coalition towards the centre and some sort of meaningful relationship with the contemporary world gradually expired. Moderate swinging voters became disillusioned.
Mr Abbott’s vengeful policy terrorism and Liberal frontbencher Peter Dutton’s prime ministerial ambitions, meanwhile, dragged internal Liberal party politics further and further to the extreme.
In choosing to remain hostage to this right-wing lunge in conservative politics in Australia, rather than standing and fighting to move it back to the mainstream, Mr Turnbull erased his moderate face, destroying his only utility — electoral utility — to the Liberals. He wrecked his prime ministership in the process.