A gruelling pandemic year is drawing to a close, and the members of the 46th Parliament are keenly feeling it.
The Prime Minister, probably more so than any other parliamentarian, is in that boat.
Scott Morrison denies it, but his authority is being seriously tested.
For 32 tortuous minutes during vote counting on Thursday, there was chaos in the House.
Confusion reigned under a new Speaker who appeared to be grappling with the rules as the Coalition lost its majority in the House. The government lost two votes in quick succession as one of its MP crossed the floor. A leader's will was defied over the core political concern of integrity.
In turn, it appears, Parliament's will has been spurned.
But before that, an eternity of consternation, as no one appeared to know what was happening.
To quote the member for Kennedy, Bob Katter: "Clearly, a lot of us are confused. And I am one of the dumber ones. So I am at a loss."
What happened? Liberal backbencher Bridget Archer, the federal member for the Tasmanian seat of Bass, voted against the government to bring on debate for a bill from independent MP Helen Haines to introduce a federal integrity commission - a federal ICAC, a key election commitment that the Morrison government is now wavering on. The government has its own bill, but Mr Morrison views Dr Haines' stronger version as akin to a "kangaroo court".
Ms Archer's move, which has been called "brave", ''courageous" and the "single most important thing that any parliamentarian could do", failed on a technicality. But she felt compelled.
"I don't take this decision lightly at all. I take this decision very seriously, to stand here. And it's a difficult decision. This is one of the most important things that we come to this place to do," Ms Archer said.
In ordinary, non-COVID-19 times, just one vote for a motion to suspend standing orders would be needed to tip the balance, but because of the pandemic, not all members are in Canberra. Members have to be physically in the chamber if they want to vote.
An absolute majority, or more than half the entire house, of 76 votes or more is needed for a vote to suspend debate to pass. Questions are also framed in the negative, to stop MPs from crossing the chamber when casting votes.
For two votes, 66 to 63 and then 66 to 64 were not enough. A win was a loss.
It was quite a test for the new Speaker, Andrew Wallace, but it was a far bigger challenge for Mr Morrison.
"Hasn't the Prime Minister lost control of the House, lost control of the senators and lost the control of his government?" Labor leader Anthony Albanese posed at the start of question time.
The answer was simply, "no".
This is not the way of the Morrison government. Command and control was the ethos of Mr Morrison's personal project, Operation Sovereign Borders. It was more than a slogan.
This week, five government senators voted for a One Nation bill, rebel MP George Christensen crossed the floor to vote against government legislation, and Ms Archer twice voted against the government on the federal integrity commission.
"The Leader of the Opposition is obsessed by the games that go on in Canberra. He is totally obsessed with that, absolutely obsessed about it," Mr Morrison said.
Labor has been pushing and needling the PM all week on integrity and trust, with varying success - particularly over his 2019 Hawaii trip during the Black Summer bushfires.
But this is the Prime Minister's own side.
Seeing trouble in the re-election tea leaves, disgruntled Coalition backbenchers are finding their voices and throwing their weight around.
Government lines have weakened over vaccine mandates and religious freedoms, particularly protections for same-sex-attracted students.
Dr Haines says more government MPs are wavering over support for a federal ICAC. She claims not to know about voting intentions, but called Ms Archer a "true Liberal" and a "lioness of this Parliament".