#Libspill 'Is About Hate', Not Leadership Or Policy

"You win leadership ballots by playing really, really dirty," Sam Dastyari tells ten daily.

Former Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has said the leadership crisis currently engulfing the federal government is primarily "about hate".

Talking to Ten's Sandra Sully, Dastyari shed some light on the power-playing and back-stabbing that goes on behind the closed doors of parliament house.

"People think this is about ambition, they think it is a little bit about policy, a little bit about ideas, values, direction," Dastyari said on ten daily's Facebook Live.

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"It's actually about one thing and that's hate. Just understand just how much people in that building in parliament house hate each other." he said.

Dastyari also said that powerful politicians threaten other members to vote in their favour, essentially manipulating people to turn against the party's leader and support a spill.

"This is politics at its most brutal and just to take people a little bit behind the scenes what you are seeing at the moment in terms of the media, the public comments, the tweets and what people are saying, most of it is rubbish. The reality is that the blood sport that goes on, goes on behind closed doors. " Dastyari said.

"People are being threatened, careers are being made and broken, people are being dragged in an told, 'you vote this way' or 'you vote that way' or 'the consequences are going to be x and y.'"

"You win leadership ballots by playing really, really dirty and this is about to get very, very dirty for the next 24 hours."

So if the situation is so dire for Malcolm Turnbull, why didn't he resign on Thursday? Dastyari said it is a play by Turnbull to buy Scott Morrison time to gather the support for Friday's possible party room meeting.

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"I think that this is all just a stalling tactic," Dastyari told Sandra Sully.

"Obviously he wants to be prime minister, his objective is to be prime minister but anything as far as they [Turnbull and Morrison] are concerned beats having Peter Dutton there, so this is a stalling tactic for Scott Morrison. Morrison is starting late and Morrison has to get the numbers."

Australia now finds itself in a situation where the House of Representatives has been shut down, with a government where the majority of frontbenchers have resigned and with a leadership spill imminent.

It's really anyone's game. Image: Getty Images.

So what are the options for leader?

Well, there's Peter Dutton who claims he already has the support of the party room and then there's Scott Morrison who is scrambling to gain support. Then there is Julie Bishop, who announced she would run for the leadership late on Thursday evening and she's the biggest threat to Labor in the short term.

"Julie Bishop is definitely the most dangerous in the short term," Dastyari said.

"She is incredibly electorally appealing, she's liked, she's popular, she's very very good at grassroots politics. But, she doesn't have the support of her own party.

"She's considered a moderate [and] considered a centrist, so the moderates don't quite trust her enough and the conservatives don't trust her."

It really seems to be anyone's race at this stage, so all we can do is wait and as Sully put it, "watch this space".