Malcolm Turnbull has again dumped on his former Liberal colleagues for ousting him as prime minister, inflicting a fresh round of headaches ahead of the next election.
Speaking to the BBC in London overnight, he described the August coup as a “peculiarly Australian form of madness”.
Mr Turnbull continued to claim he was removed because he was on track to beat Labor Leader Bill Shorten.
“Basically, you could argue that their concern was not that I would lose the election but rather that I would win it,” he told the British broadcaster.
Mr Turnbull said the Liberals were just two points behind in the public polls, and ahead in internal polling of marginal seats.
The former prime minister pointed out the Liberal Party was now polling poorly compared to his own performance ahead of the August spill.
“It still could win the election, the Liberal government, but its position is much less favourable than it was in August.”
Mr Turnbull later had a crack at bitter rival Tony Abbott, responding to his predecessor’s comment that coal-fired power remained the cheapest form of baseload energy during a televised debate on Friday morning.
“But it isn’t. Today the cheapest form of new dispatchable or baseload energy is renewables plus storage,” Mr Turnbull tweeted.
“We are now able to have lower emissions and lower prices but we need to plan it using engineering & economics rather than ideology and innumerate idiocy.”
He said the fossil fuel lobby railed against his pet project to upgrade the Snowy Hydro scheme because it would deliver massive storage, making renewables reliable.
Senior Liberals lined up to douse tensions reignited by Mr Turnbull’s leadership spill comments.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who was a key figure in the coup, described the ugly episode as “ancient history”.
“We have a responsibility to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to be successful at the next election, and that is what we are all focused on,” he told Sky News.
Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer was uncomfortable fielding questions about Mr Turnbull’s intervention.
“I’ve got to say there is an obsession in wanting to talk about these past historical issues,” she told ABC radio.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne also had no appetite for re-opening old wounds.
“I think we have raked over those coals quite enough in the last few months. I don’t propose to talk about it any further,” he told the Nine Network.
Labor leader Bill Shorten, who has headed the opposition party since October 2013, said voters would get a say soon on Liberal instability.
“It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, the Liberal Party hate each other as much as ever,” he told reporters in Adelaide.
“The Australian people are sick and tired of political infighting. They just want some stability.”