Rebels plot second strike on wounded Malcolm Turnbull after leadership vote

24 August, 2018, 03:43 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott makes his way back to his office after defeating Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot in Canberra in 2009

If Turnbull had lost the challenge it would have been the sixth leadership change in Australia in 11 years.

"I enjoy the confidence of the cabinet and of my party room", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"Peter Dutton was at our leadership group meeting this morning and he was at the Cabinet last night".

Liberal members see Turnbull as "the best Labor leader the Liberals ever had", criticizing his push for same-sex marriage, his support for an Australian republic, and other causes favored by Labor and other left-wing parties. If just seven more Liberal MPs switched their support to Mr Dutton, he would have the numbers to seize the leadership.

But a second challenge could come by the end of the year, given the narrow result and policy tensions within the ruling Liberal Party.

A by-election in Wentworth would also complicate matters in any change of leader.

Dutton, the Home Affairs minister, has resigned from the frontbench, which will trigger a reshuffle. However, Mr Turnbull has consistently rated higher than Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

Julie Bishop says she'll remain loyal - but polls suggest she could be the Liberals' best hope for an election win.

"Unity is critical. We can not allow, as I said in the party room today, our internal issues to undermine our work, to create a risk, a real risk, that Bill Shorten will be the prime minister". With almost six prime ministers in eight years, why is the previously stable "Lucky Country" suddenly so politically treacherous?

"He has given me his absolute support", Mr Turnbull said of Mr Dutton.

Nationals MP Damian Drum has had a gutful of the former prime minister's interventions.

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With all my heart and soul.' before adding in a separate post: 'The only way to do this... with Family and God. "My heart. The rumours of their relationship began in May 2018 as the two were often spotted on dinner dates and outing around NY .

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott listens to lawmakers speak in Parliament in Canberra, Australia, on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

Some political commentators believe that Dutton, buoyed by his strong showing, could challenge Turnbull again within days, especially if there is a mass exodus from the Cabinet.

Party whip Nola Marino said confirmed Mr Turnbull won 48 votes to 35 for Mr Dutton. That would potentially coincide with Mr Turnbull's 40th consecutive Newspoll loss.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a letter on Wednesday night calling for the party room to meet.

Abbott was then unseated in a party coup by Turnbull in 2015.

Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition trails the main Labor opposition 45 percent to 55 percent, according to a Fairfax-Ipsos poll released Monday.

Cormann, a fellow conservative who is close to Dutton and said they had had four walks this week at 5.30 am, told Sky, : "We are both very committed to the success of the Turnbull Government and to winning the next election".

Mr Dutton's bid for the leadership came unstuck in a Liberal Party meeting on Tuesday.

While stopping short of following the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump and withdrawing from the global climate accord, Australia removed requirements from its National Energy Guarantee plan that would have mandated that greenhouse emissions from its power industry decrease by 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Further pressure will be on Mr Dutton if next week's Newspoll reveals the Government has fallen further and Mr Turnbull's personal approval rating continues to free fall. "Our job is to work for the people who put us here". "I think he's a very matured, well-managed man and I think he could handle the position of PM very well", she said.



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