Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership on the line as Peter Dutton challenge looms

Galtero Lara
Agosto 20, 2018

Going into Sunday night's meeting, longtime Turnbull backer Christopher Pyne acknowledged the seriousness of the current power struggle within the government, and the possibility of a move against the prime minister.

With Peter Dutton being urged by fellow conservatives to spearhead a political reset - a conservative-led drift away from Turnbull that has been in play since the Liberal National party's rout in the Longman byelection - and with rightwing media commentators agitating against the prime minister, Pyne publicly urged restive colleagues to hold their nerve.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott said the issue was about policy, not personalities.

Mr Abbott can count on only a handful of supporters in the party room, but the chaos around the Government's energy policy is threatening to spill into a leadership challenge. It would be electoral suicide to have him as leader'.

'There is no single reason for these prices and so there is no single solution, which is why we have been taking action across the board, ' he said in the video.

"Emissions targets that made sense three years ago.do not make sense now", Mr Abbott said.

The latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll highlights the malaise.

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Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's assurances did not go far in quelling leadership speculation.

'I'm focused on getting energy prices down and I'll leave you to all of the speculation, ' he told ABC.

Mr Turnbull faces his most critical week since coming to office and will return to Parliament today to be greeted by conservative backbenchers approaching revolt, an Opposition cheering on his leadership rivals and a Senate hostile to his signature economic policy, company tax reform.

"He is our best hope to beat Bill Shorten next year", Mr Pyne told RN.

'The cabinet is 100 per cent united behind Malcolm Turnbull, and in the party room on Tuesday only four people said that they reserved their right not to vote for the NEG, ' Mr Pyne said.

NEG is in response to the county's involvement with the Paris Agreement, which is a push to reduce carbon emissions and action on climate change by 2020.

The Liberal and Nationals MPs who are against NEG and appear willing to cross the floor include Tony Abbott, Andrew Gee, Andrew Hastie, Barnaby Joyce, Craig Kelly, Kevin Andrews, George Christensen as well as Keith Pitt. The target of 26 per cent by 2030 aligns with the global Paris pact on climate change.

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