The independents cannot solve the problem of legitimacy that affects both the major parties and underpins the election result.
The consequences of Labor losing government for Gillard, and the power brokers who put there, are unthinkable and Labor will be desperate to cling to power and is likely to be blind to the dangers it will bring.
It is likely that whichever party forms government with the independents, they will use those independents as a cover for not being able to implement a program that they never had in the first place.
Mandates are still important, even to the most self absorbed political party.
Both parties are just limping to election having nothing to say but how they might debate it if they did.
Take your pick on the past you prefer.
At least referring back to Howard gives Abbott an appearance of stability that he otherwise doesn’t have. The return of Rudd has exactly the opposite effect for Labor.