On Monday, 101 Liberal MPs voted on an important spill vote that could have triggered a change of leadership for their party and the country.
Most, 69 in fact, voted against new leadership elections, while 31 voted in favour of the motion. But it was the lone informal ‘donkey’ vote that attracted the most attention.
Coalitions MPs were asked to either write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a piece of blank paper to indicate whether they supported a spill, but one politician reportedly wrote “PASS” instead.
A flurry of jokes followed on social media, offering tongue-in-cheek suggestions as to what else the piece of paper might have said.
Some suggested Defence Minister Kevin Andrews may have nominated a former Labor prime minister, following a gaffe on Sunday when he declared his support for “Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard”.
Those of you suggesting that the informal vote was Kevin Andrews voting for Julia Gillard are very unkind. #libspill
— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) February 8, 2015
Others suggested the vote may have been for Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, in reference to the song’s attempted infiltration of this year’s Triple J Hottest 100.
Another mock vote read “we’re going to do you slowly” in reference to former PM Paul Keating’s response to Opposition Leader John Hewson when asked why he wouldn’t call an early election.
Others wrote “Wyatt woz here”, mocking 24-year-old MP Wyatt Roy who publicly supported the spill.
There were several suggestions the informal vote could have come from Education Minister Christopher Pyne and may have simply said “See you next Tuesday” – a risque euphemism Mr Pyne uttered to Labor MP Anthony Albanese last week.
Controversial South Australian MP Corey Bernardi also got a mock vote with “Cory 4 P.M.”.
— Sarah Ellen (@essieteric) February 8, 2015
— Denham Sadler (@denhamsadler) February 9, 2015
— LadySandraSmilesalot (@SandraSmiles) February 8, 2015