PAUL MURRAY: Some hopes for politics in 2018
The ingredients are there for the Prime Minister to have a good 2018. He started using a great line towards the end of the year, 'a thousand jobs are being created every day'.
It is simple yet points to much more than jobs; it is a positive argument on the economy which is always a key foundation successful coalition governments need.
With the win in Bennelong he gets a majority back in the parliament which gives him the trigger to send Labor dual citizens off to the High Court. If that happens the attention will be on Labor's fight with the Greens in Melbourne and there's an outside chance the LNP could win the seat of Longman in Queensland that only just went to Labor with One Nation preferences at the last election.
The passage of same-sex marriage gives Turnbull something history will remember him by, but a quick resolution to the religious freedom concerns will snuff out fires that will keep sending Liberal voters to other parties.
Finally, the move of Christian Porter to Attorney General signals some fights the Government will start and win on law and order in the first half of the year.
Labor is in for a much harder year than last year. They have largely risen in the polls because of Government mistakes and Turnbull often taking way too long to make a decision. If the Government sends Labor MP's to the high court they are going to spend weeks trying to out leftie Greens in Melbourne, alienating mainstream Australians.
Shorten also needs to show leadership and take on the CFMEU or risks being defined by the worst of union movement. All this creates the doubt the Government needs to paint Shorten as a risk and they'll have some evidence to prove it.
I hope Shorten also sees 2018 as a chance to work with the Government to make some tough spending choices to try and pull the budget back to balance. If he does Shorten will be rewarded for showing he is willing to upset his base for the greater national good.
I'm a fan of minor parties and think if there is an election next year you should keep sending independent voices to Canberra. But 2018 is the year where they all need to understand their power only exists because the Liberals are in power.
Labor has the Greens to get their agenda through the parliament. So I'd advise the crossbench to use their leverage to push for the one or two things they really want to get done and look for ways to help the Government on the big things and make the shift to understanding that we need to seriously cut spending.
I have great hope for a Xenophon-less Senate and look forward to seeing NXT senators grow into their own roles and step out of the old dealmaker's shadow.
Paul Murray LIVE returns from January 22 on Sky News Live, Foxtel channel 601.
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