Whilst Peter Costello may be seen by the media as the next leader of the party, I can’t see it happening.
Peter may assume the role briefly, but I think the next few years will be a transition period for the Liberals and Peter Costello won’t last. If Labor have an about-face and don’t remain as conservative as they have been during the campaign, then Malcolm Turnbull will be the Liberal leader at the next election. Otherwise it will be the “warm and friendly” Joe Hockey.
Either way, I think a lot of the old guard will retire soon. Phillip Ruddock, Alexander Downer and Tony Abbot will either be out of parliament before the next election, or will be on the backbench and won’t contest the seats.