The reason Julie Bishop will never be Prime Minister.

“She’s a leader, so why isn’t she leading?”

Behind every great man in the Liberal party, there’s a great woman. And that woman is always Julie Bishop.

Bishop is a kingmaker. While Turnbull wriggled into leadership last night with 55 votes, she scored a far more confident 70. People trust Bishop. She’s a spill-proof survivor who carries herself with dignity and gets the job done. She’s a leader…

Which leads to the question, why isn’t she leading?

julie bishop feature
“She’s a leader, so why isn’t she leading?” Image via Getty.

Bishop has been in the #2 position of the Libs through eight years and four leadership changes. Surely such a survivor instinct would be great in a commander?

The reason why she’s not in charge is obvious. It’s intractable. It’s geography.

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“The reason why she’s not in charge is obvious. It’s intractable. It’s geography.” Inset image via Getty, main image via Wikipedia.

Bishop may have grown up in the Adelaide Hills, but she began her political career when she won the WA seat of Curtin in the 1998 federal election.

And all the way over in the isolated west, it’s easy to make an impact, but it’s hard to rule.

In Liberal Party power struggles the West Australians hold huge influence. They generally vote in block, and their decisions generally sync with whoever’s in charge.

But controlling one corner does not always translate to leading the entire nation. To draw a Game of Thrones comparison (Australian politics is bloody enough for that right now), Julie Bishop will always be the Tyrells. She’s got the wealth, she’s got the power. But just not enough on her own.

“To reference Game of Thrones, Julie Bishop will always be the Tyrells.” Inset image via Getty, main image via HBO.

She can’t march all the way down to King’s Landing and take control of all of Westeros. She’s got great power in her own fiefdom, but WA is its own separate world. Their numbers are enough to make a difference. But they’re not enough to carry the country.

Do you know how many Liberal Party leaders have started out in WA? One. Billy Sneddon. And he lost the election to Whitlam in 1974.

Billy Snedden, the only Liberal party leader from Western Australia in Australia’s history.

Holding the deputy leadership, holding it so firmly it almost hurts, is the perfect position for a West Australian politician. It exactly reflects her power and influence. Here, she can run things quietly and commandingly.

She can be highly effective. She need not make the concessions a leader needs to make. She need not be liked either.

Also, she’s a woman. And we all know what happens when a woman deposes a man, no matter how unfit he may be to lead.

It’s not all about gender. But it’s not not about gender either.

Would you like to see Julie Bishop leading the country?