A hideous beast awaits Abbott's return

Tony Abbott could find his weak grasp on the upper house slip through his fingers if the steep, post-election drop in Coalition support out West is carried into a Senate re-run.

The sun rises on 2014 with an unfortunate guest waiting patiently in the corner of the Liberal Party Room in parliament house, Canberra – a giant creature wearing a 'G'day from WA!' t-shirt, guzzling cans of Emu Export beer and belching with abandon.

Nobody wants to sit next to the elephant in the room, but it is there. It's the half-Senate election re-run in Western Australia, and on it a great deal of Australian history will pivot.

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