Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership vote, but threat still remains

21 August, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

The latest on Monday showed it lagging even further behind - 45 to 55 per cent on a two-party basis - with national elections due by the middle of next year. "But if it's just other people talking on Peter Dutton's behalf, then they are cowards working behind the scenes".

The vote came just a day after Turnbull said Dutton had pledged his support to the PM, and days after Dutton tweeted that Turnbull "has my support and I support the policies of the Government".

However, Mr Turnbull has consistently rated higher than Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

After his abortive attempt to snatch the leadership of the Liberal Party, it was pretty clear that Peter Dutton's position in Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet was, shall we say, untenable.

The Prime Minister was facing opposition from inside his party.

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

Turnbull's move may relieve immediate pressure on his leadership, though internal peace is seen as fragile as the government's re-election prospects look dim.

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The vote comes a day after Ten News revealed a possible section 44 constitutional cloud over Dutton's business interests which could make him ineligible to sit in parliament.

Such a situation occurred when Turnbull took the leadership from Abbott, with an "empty chair" challenge in February 2015 returning Abbott but a September 2015 challenge seeing Turnbull take the top job.

"If we are fighting amongst ourselves, guess what, when the voters go to the election, they'll mark us down as they should", Mr Laundy said.

The relatively narrow victory may not spell the end of Mr Dutton's leadership ambitions.

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

"I'm certain he is telling the truth", he told the Nine Network.

With both leadership positions spilled, the foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop's position as deputy Liberal leader was also opened, but she was the only one to nominate and was therefore re-elected.



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