Damned if they do, more damned if they don't

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    "Liberal Party director Tony Nutt has warned the NSW state government's election campaign is facing "macro turbulence" as a result of the bitter leadership crisis unfolding in Canberra.

    The admission by Mr Nutt, who was conducting a pre-election candidates forum with Premier Mike Baird in Sydney on Sunday, is the closest yet to an admission by the Liberal Party machine that the unpopularity of Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatens to directly impact on the state campaign.

    According to sources inside the forum, candidates were instructed not to comment on the leadership of Mr Abbott to journalists and to confine all comments during their campaigning to state issues.

    But in private groups, candidates raised fears that seats that should be winnable could be out of reach if Monday's leadership spill motion is defeated and Mr Abbott holds on to power, as his supporters suggest will be the case."

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