Australian PM Turnbull survives leadership challenge

Federico Mansilla
Agosto 21, 2018

Although he lost the vote and will now head to the backbenches, the level of support for Dutton was substantial enough to fuel speculation of an imminent second strike.

Dutton failed to rule out a second attempt at seizing the leadership of Australia's ruling Liberal party and instead outlined his alternative policy manifesto following his unsuccessful challenge to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday.

"Surely there are some people in the WA federal Liberal party who are pretty disturbed and anxious about the infighting", he said.

"That was not to be today and I understand and I respect the outcome and I fully support the Prime Minister and the Cabinet".

Mr Drum said Mr Dutton was not well known in Western Australia and would have to remake himself before an election if he won the leadership from Mr Turnbull.

He had reaped his revenge, three years after becoming the first Australian prime minister since Federation to have been brought down in his first term.

Abbott is now a vocal backbencher and is widely seen as a key instigator of the move against the prime minister this week, which has left Turnbull heading a party where 35 people do not want him as leader.

"I have served on the frontbench for 14 years under four leaders of the Liberal Party with integrity and loyalty", he said.

In a later interview with Sky News, Mr Dutton would not answer direct questions on whether he would challenge again.

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

"The result of that ballot was Mr Turnbull who was elected leader of the Liberal Party by a margin of 48-35, with Peter Dutton as the other candidate", she said.

Standing up for a press conference, Dutton opened with: "It is good to be in front of the cameras where I can smile and maybe showed a different side to what I show when I talk about border protection".

Even if Malcolm Turnbull survives a second challenge against Peter Dutton, he looks set to lose the election in a landslide to Labor's Bill Shorten, following 38 consecutive Newspoll losses with this challenge denting his already-crumbling authority.

Pyne said earlier Mr Dutton had told him the Prime Minister has his absolute support.

She sought to reassure colleagues the party's leadership issue had been settled.

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". He refused to say, but added: "I have gone through what my job is now and that is to make sure that I can help the Coalition win the next election".

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