Whoever is right in this bitter battle between former friends Michael Kroger and Peter Costello, the pair should stop their factional infighting for the good of the party. Tony Abbott will hope to win up to another 10 seats in Victoria at the next election, and the party must unite behind the current team.
There is no doubt Peter Costello would make a fantastic contribution in Canberra. He is popular, has a good sense of humour, and his economic credentials are beyond question. But his failure to be loyal to John Howard, his comments about Tony Abbott and economics (despite Abbott having an Economics degree) and his cowardly decision to pull the plug as soon as the Party lost an election make it very hard for Costello to return.
It is absolutely clear senior figures in the party like Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop, Andrew Robb, Malcolm Turnbull and others see Costello as a threat to their ambitions.
Joe Hockey would certainly be under pressure to consider vacating his post of Shadow Treasurer for Costello.
If he does want to return, he should contest a seat a marginal Labor held seat like Corangamite, held by only 0.3%.