Putting the vote on the date of the Labor conference may be trolling-by-scheduling, but Shorten could well be relieved
• Sign up to receive the latest news in Australian politics every weekday
It should be clear to anyone watching politics right now that no one is bringing a knife to a gun fight, but it became abundantly clear when the Speaker, Tony Smith, updated the House of Representatives just after question time on Thursday.
All week, the denizens of the parliament had been sweating on the date for the byelections triggered by the last vestige of the dual-citizenship crisis. The days of the sitting week passed. Tick tock. Still, no date.