Politics

Julie Bishop Is Leaving Politics For Good

Are there any women left in the Liberal party?

Julie Bishop 60 Minutes

Julie Bishop, a relative centre of calm in the near-constant leadership spats that have embroiled the Liberal party over the last four years, has announced that she will quit politics at the next federal election.

In a speech in which she reflected on her accomplishments on Thursday, Bishop has said that she’s proud to have been the first female deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Australia’s first female Foreign Minister, and the first woman to contest a ballot for the leadership of her party.

She’s also indicated her personal preference to make sure that the next politician to take her seat of Curtin in Western Australia, is a woman, and has claimed that she has already been contacted by party members looking to do just that.

“I have been contacted by a number of talented — indeed extraordinary — people, including women, who have indicated to me that should I not reconsider the seat of Curtin, they would seek preselection,” Bishop told cameras.

The news is not necessarily surprising. Bishop, the one-time Minister For Foreign Affairs and the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, stepped down from the frontbench last year, following a failed attempt to throw her hat in the ring for the Prime Minister’s job during an extraordinarily messy coup spearheaded by Peter Dutton.

Bishop, who successfully pledged allegiance to both Brendan Nelson, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull during their respective leaderships of the party, remained a strange centre of calm during the Liberal turbulence of the last few years. While the left and right-leaning factions of the party — led by Turnbull and Abbott respectively — have struggled to control the future of the Liberals, Bishop has retained her status strong leadership figure.

Indeed, she elected to stand down from the front bench herself, refusing an offer from now-PM Scott Morrison to hold onto her position as Foreign Minister.

Bishop’s plans for the future have yet to be announced — but it’d be a safe bet to suggest a memoir might be forthcoming, following a recent trend.