Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Turnbull survives leadership contest but battle far from over

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could have leadership spill on his hands MICHAEL MASTERS GETTY IMAGES Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could have leadership spill on his hands
Sherry Houston | 21 August, 2018, 14:51

Turnbull, after days of mounting pressure, declared the leadership positions of the party open on Tuesday morning, throwing down the gauntlet to a potential challenge.

All smiles. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack leave after a party room meeting at Parliament House in Canberra.

"He's less popular than Malcolm Turnbull, and the least popular leader Australia has seen over the past 30 years".

With 35 votes to Malcolm Turnbull's 48, Dutton only needed another 7 MPs to support him in order to oust the prime minister.

He headed off a leadership challenge from Minster of Home Affairs Peter Dutton by a margin of 48 votes to 35 in the surprise vote.

"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. He said the government should concentrate on policies that help regular people.

Mr Turnbull told reporters earlier on Monday he had the confidence of Mr Dutton, the cabinet and the partyroom.

"We've got to put 25 million Australians first".

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar offered his resignation after voting for Mr Dutton in the spill, along with Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister James McGrath.

Many were looking to Peter Dutton, the hardline...

"The dead man walking is sitting down the front, but he doesn't have the numbers", veteran Labor MP Jenny Macklin said in parliament.

What do you think of today's leadership spill?

Dutton spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon and didn't rule out a further challenge.

"United we are able to deliver the great results that we have for all Australians".

"We have delivered lower taxes, record spending on essential services, we have started to turn the corner on energy prices".

"We have a responsibility to make judgments about what is in the best interest for families and workers into the future, not just to follow the lead of public opinion at one particular point in time", he said.

Turnbull thanked Dutton for his work as home affairs minister, saying he had done an "outstanding job".

Mr Hawke, the only federal Labor leader to have won four elections, was challenged during a recession but prevailed 66 votes to 44.

"It is always orderly in our party room", Marino said.

Following the ballot, The Prime Minister called for "unity" within the Liberal Party and to "get on with the job" of governing the country.

"Having two relatively unpopular leaders doesn't give an advantage to either party because they cancel each other out".

But former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was replaced by Mr. Turnbull in a ballot of government lawmakers in 2015, was not convinced that Mr. Turnbull had given up on reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 26 % below 2005 levels through legislation.

Nearly half (49.5%) said Dutton as leader would make them less likely to vote for the Coalition.

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