That means making friends with the real winner of Saturday’s election — not the Greens, who saved Scott Ludlam’s seat, but Clive Palmer, who now adds another senator to the three he has already, including the Motoring Enthusiasts’ Ricky Muir.
Will the erratic Palmer play ball? Will he help Abbott finally repeal the carbon tax and make the deep spending cuts we need? And at what price?
Abbott may have dodged a bullet, but now comes the real battle.