Julie Bishop’s finely timed interview with The Sunday Times insisting she could have beaten Bill Shorten — while pouring a bucket on senior colleagues such as Mathias Cormann and Christopher Pyne — is yet another unwanted distraction for a Government staring down the barrel of a thumping defeat.

Here’s five takeaways from Ms Bishop’s latest salvo:

1. Ms Bishop believes her personal popularity among voters could have saved the coalition at the coming poll. The problem is, while well known by voters, she was widely disliked by the coalition’s now mostly conservative backbench.

2. As she has made clear before, she blames figures like Christopher Pyne – a fellow moderate — for white-anting her 11th hour tilt to lead the party. But while Mr Pyne was probably involved in some skulduggery, the aforementioned distaste for Ms Bishop on the backbench still made it unlikely she would ever win a leadership contest dominated by conservatives.

3. The once quietly simmering civil war inside the WA Liberals is now an open battle. Ms Bishop has long been locked in a behind doors struggle for top dog status with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. In today’s interview she breaks cover to question why Senator Cormann backed Peter Dutton as PM, particularly when Mr Dutton had wavered on the Government’s commitment to fix WA’s GST woes.

4. Try as it might, the Coalition cannot get clear air. This week the Morrison Government was tipped to focus its attack on Labor over refugees, but Ms Bishop’s blast ensures the coalition starts the week on the back foot again. The Government is fast running out of time to turn the ship around.

5. With the Government likely as dead as disco, much of the fight inside the Liberals is now about legacy. Senator Cormann has backed former Notre Dame University Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond to replace Ms Bishop in Curtin. Ms Bishop has said publicly that she is not supporting any single candidate, though she has in the past been seen as a supporter of foreign affairs specialist Erin Watson-Lynn. As we saw in the Stirling preselection, the perceived support of a powerbroker can prove the kiss of death for any candidate.

Watch Curtin as the final bloody battle inside the WA Liberals plays out.