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Amanda Vanstone calls for the Prime Minister to clear out the ‘dead wood’

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Former Liberal Party heavyweight Amanda Vanstone says Prime Minister Tony Abbott needs to cut some dead wood in the new year.

But beleaguered treasurer Joe Hockey isn’t on her hit list, she told 3AW Mornings.

Ms Vanstone said rogue internal elements and the unpredictability of the minor parties were the government’s chief problems as opinion polls continue to slide.

FAIRFAX/IPSOS POLL

PREFERRED PM: Shorten 47 – Abbott 39
TWO-PARTY PREFERRED:
Labor 52 – Coalition 48

"Privately, I could give the Prime Minister a list of what (News Corp columnist) Niki Savva described as donkeys looking for a knackery," she said.

"I think there’s some changes he can make – some dead wood he can cut – but Joe wouldn’t be one of them.

"It’s a team game, and I think it’s frankly unfair to blame Joe.

"The budget they came up is something they all approved of, and I’m a bit off picking on one person and blaming them."

The former Liberal MP said Tony Abbott faced a fresh problem that John Howard never encountered.

"Fancy having to deal with Jacqui Lambie," Ms Vanstone told Nick McCallum.

"When you were dealing with the Greens and Democrats, I would never have voted for these people but there was some degree of coherence about what they stood for.

"But with this lot – with (Clive) Palmer, Lambie and (Motoring Enthusiasts senator Ricky) Muir – what degree of coherence is there with those people? What are you dealing with?

"You’ve got no idea. They’re like cats in a bag."

LISTEN: Amanda Vanstone explains how her own experience tells her Joe Hockey is the fall guy

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