Turnbull holds off Dutton challenge - for now - by 48-35

21 August, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Tracy Craig
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

The prime minister won the vote 48-35, Liberal Party whip Nola Marino told reporters. Many were looking to Peter Dutton, the hardline...

"In relation to media stories today, just to make very clear, the Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the government", Mr Dutton tweeted.

After the vote, Dutton resigned as Home Affairs Minister, moving to the backbench.

After all, it's only three years since he launched his own "spill" to oust former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Turnbull called the vote at the Liberal party room meeting, declaring the leadership vacant, and Dutton nominated as the only candidate.

The Prime Minister has seen his support crumble in recent days, forcing him to completely ditch his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in an attempt to appease nervous MPs in his party who want him gone. He called a spill in February 2015, but it wasn't until September that Malcolm Turnbull finally moved after Abbott had lost 32 Newspolls in a row. I think he probably still is.

"He (the PM) thanked the colleagues for their support".

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The leadership talk was fueled by an Ipsos poll published in Fairfax newspapers, which showed support for Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition falling four points to 45 percent, 10 points behind opposition party Labor and enough for a crushing electoral defeat.

Mr Turnbull's risky move may have backfired as it exposes the weakness of his position and the size of the split between the two factions of the Liberal Party.

Australia's prime minister on Monday abandoned plans to legislate to limit greenhouse gas emissions to head off a revolt by conservative lawmakers.

Gary Spence, LNP president in Queensland, urged federal MPs to replace Mr Turnbull with Mr Dutton, arguing he would do better at defending the Coalition's nine marginal seats in the state.

"We're for lower prices, Mr Shorten is for higher prices", he said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she did not believe the government's policy flip-flopping over the past week had done it any damage.

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