Malcolm Turnbull wins Liberal leadership vote

Then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott makes his way back to his office after defeating Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot in Canberra in 2009

Then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott makes his way back to his office after defeating Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot in Canberra in 2009

The leadership crisis followed Turnbull's Monday capitulation to the Coalition rebels over energy policy.

Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton spoke extensively about his parliamentary record and determination to keep Bill Shorten from becoming prime minister after his failed challenge to Malcolm Turnbull's leadership of the Liberal Party this morning.

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

The vote this morning confirms Mr Dutton has the backing of a significant group in the party room - mostly conservatives - to replace Mr Turnbull as PM.

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.

He said, although most government politicians supported the target of reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 26% below 2005 levels, that support was not enough.

"There is a high transaction cost from changing leaders".

The home affairs minister could instead wait until parliament resumes in September.

"I made a decision not because i had any animosity towards Malcolm Turnbull".

Before the ballot, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg had warned government colleagues that they would lose popularity if they dumped Mr. Turnbull.

The Prime Minister said they can not allow internal issues to undermine their work. But it's not over yet as the Prime Minister could face another spill from MPs.

"I like Peter Dutton, I think he's done a great job as Immigration Minister", she said.

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Another said the Prime Minister's condition was "terminal".

The prime minister entered the party room with his deputy Julie Bishop amid speculation about his leadership.

Government sources also pointed to Labor questions about Mr Dutton's financial interest in childcare centres last October, when Victorian Labor senator Kimberley Kitching asked about the family trust and any pecuniary interest in payments from the Commonwealth.

Tuesday's relatively narrow win for Mr Turnbull is seen by supporters of Mr Dutton as a damaging blow to the Prime Minister from which he is unlikely to recover.

'What we want to know is, where are this prime minister's convictions?' Mr Abbott told the ABC outside Parliament House on Monday night.

Abbott was then unseated by Turnbull and is now a vocal backbencher and critic of his successor.

Mr Dutton ran through his CV to underline his capacity for the prime ministership, throwing in a John Howard reference to boost his conservative credentials.

Mr Dutton admitted he's calling Liberals trying to win support for a second challenge after failing 48 votes to 35 in a snap leadership ballot on Tuesday. Dutton, having moved to the backbench following this "first strike", can immediately set about courting more colleagues to back him.

'If there are people who are saying behind-the-scenes that is not true, I guess they have to examine their own conscience'.

"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. We don't take it for granted, but what I say to all those who didn't vote for the Prime Minister; we now have the opportunity to focus on what the electorate want to hear from us.

Needing Labor's support to get the NEG over the line would be unacceptable to many Coalition MPs.

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