Rudd was publicly popular but an absolute nightmare to deal with in Cabinet, based on post-spill interviews. The polls were looking a little shaky for him at the time, but he had room to recover. The ALP failed to explain properly why he had to go and then failed again at getting him out of the limelight once Gillard was running things. Gillard was the better PM by far but got shocking treatment from many parts of the press, nearly all of it focussed on her as an individual instead of on actual policy matters.
The difference between then and now is that Abbott fell out of favour with the general public long before his party got fed up with him. Abbott doesn't seem to be as petty as Rudd and indeed may go quietly. The other big loser from the spill, Joe Hockey, is being carted off to Washington (where he can puff on Cuban cigars to his hearts content, thanks to the US trade embargo being lifted ). The rest of Abbott's former cabinet are mostly either collaborators (Bishop, Pyne), have been paid off with a promotion (Scott Morrison) or are old enough to be put out to pasture (Kevin Andrews, Erica Abetz, Ian Macfarlane).
Gillard was the better of two evils compared to Rudd but not a good PM and many a senior ALP member will say the same including the likes of Graeme Richardson. She coped a bit of excess criticism from media and public being female and I could see Anna Bligh had to deal with the same in Qld. Julia's main problem was her back flip on CO2 tax to save the ALP govt following the election, few PM's have back flipped on an election promise so soon and so clearly after an election.
ALP sold their sole to save their govt butts, much better off to go back to the polls. Howard took the GST to the polls and govt the stamp by the people to implement it. Most of the voters hated the tax and hated the backflip and voted TA in for no other reason but to get rid of the tax. When ALP dumped her, Rudd didn't have enough time to remove the tax
TA will go quietly because that's his nature, I don't believe he has a history of sour grapes and causing problems and hence I think unlike Turnball and Rudd he will acknowledge his time is over and resign from the parliament at the next election. the plumb job waiting for him that is also to ensure his silence I'm sure we will find out in near future.
Joe Hockey, the USA Ambassadorship gets him out of the way, but I bet it was a deal done by some of the those who voted against TA. ie We will support Turnball, but are not dumping Hockey and Abbott to the gutter, they need to be looked after and this means the party must have had some respect for them personally and professionally, unlike Rudd and Gillard. I suspect Hockey knew this and hence why he has also left quietly. Andrews on the other hand......
I'm also sure the plumb jobs on offer is to keep them busy and stop them writing a book, aka Johnny Howard.
FYI - wasn't hard to get Cuban's into USA before or in USA. I bought some for my boss in Aus who sent me to Vancouver for 2 weeks. I got them in Vancouver airport in the USA departure section.