Science

Turnbull breaks silence after ballot, confirms Peter Dutton's replacement

Turnbull breaks silence after ballot, confirms Peter Dutton's replacement

Deputy Liberal Party Leader Julie Bishop retained her position unopposed at Tuesday's ballot.

The PM won the vote 48-35, from 86 members of the Liberal partyroom.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says it's too early to say whether the resignation of Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will have any effect on trans-Tasman policy.

"We can not allow, as I said in the party room today, our internal issues to undermine our work", Mr Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

"Because ultimately I never ever want to see Bill Shorten as Prime Minister of this country because it would be a disaster".

On Monday Turnbull had declared he had Dutton's "full support". "Australians expect us to be focused on them, and talking about their issues", he said.

Asked about the ballot, Ms Marino said the process was "orderly" as always.

No prime minister who has been challenged within their own party has gone on to win a federal election, with Malcolm Fraser losing the March 1983 election to Bob Hawke after facing a Liberal Party challenge in 1982 from Andrew Peacock.

He said he would now "do what I can as a backbencher to make sure that I support the government", but despite repeated questions from journalists he did not rule out launching another tilt at the leadership.




On August 18, he tweeted: "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".

A report in The Australian suggests Mr Turnbull had lost confidence of nine Liberal cabinet ministers - half of the Liberal contingent.

By June 2013, he brought her down with a second challenge, prevailing 57 votes to 45 after Labor's primary vote in Newspoll had fallen to a dangerously low 29 per cent. Turnbull replied, "I can't agree with you there and the results of the ballot today demonstrate it".

However, his capitulation to the right this week on the National Energy Guarantee - first flagging moving emissions reduction targets from legislation to regulation then suspending plans to legislate the targets - only prompted further criticism.

However, those who didn't support it threatened to "cross the floor" - that is, vote against it in Parliament.

Australian politics has a long tradition of leaders surviving initial challenges but losing in a second ballot.

Damian Drum, a lawmaker in The Nationals' party, a junior coalition partner, called on Mr. Abbott to resign from Parliament instead of destabilizing the government. "And it was a conversion of convenience this morning".

Mr. Turnbull would next month become Australia's longest serving prime minister since Mr. Howard, having held the office for three years and four days.