Julie Bishop: 'We have lost Australia’s finest Foreign Minister'

Scott Morrison ABC

Scott Morrison ABC

Julie Bishop, 62, who has been foreign minister for past five years, announced she would not seek a position in the cabinet of Scott Morrison, the new prime minister, and would leave politics next year.

The Victorian MP Josh Frydenberg won last week's ballot to be the party's new deputy leader, and Morrison appointed him treasurer last Friday.

Bishop received 11 votes in Friday's leadership ballot - coming in behind both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton - in a surprise result, given that she is popular amongst voters and well regarded in the global diplomatic circuit.

The Morrison government has been confronted with an opinion poll that shows the Coalition's primary vote has fallen to 33 per cent, marking the lowest result since Brendan Nelson was opposition leader in 2008.

Most of her 11 votes carried over to Morrison, who ultimately beat out Dutton 45-40.

Bishop issued a statement on Sunday, saying she'll remain in Parliament.

"Cormann rumoured to be putting some WA votes behind Julie Bishop in round 1", a message purporting to be from Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher told the group.

The chaos has highlighted not just the infighting within the two major parties - Liberals and Labor - but also how politicians and the electorate view women in power.

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It added: "Be aware that this is a ruse trying to get her ahead of Morrison so he drops out and his votes go to Dutton".

"It was pretty lonely", the former lawyer said previous year, adding that she would suggest ideas which were ignored until copied by her male colleagues.

"While Labor has at times been critical of the foreign policy directions under Prime Ministers Abbott and Turnbull, Ms Bishop's commitment to standing up for Australia both here and overseas has never been in question".

Morrison said the government was now in the process of healing the divisions that led to the rolling crisis of the past fortnight.

While Morrison blocked a Chinese bid for electricity network Ausgrid and an iconic cattle company with vast tracts of land, that was out of "genuine concern" about foreign ownership of strategic assets, according to Richard Holden, a professor of economics at the University of New South Wales Business School in Sydney.

"Australia is New Zealand's most important partner", said Ms Ardern.

That drew immediate ire from the Chinese government, which said it was "gravely concerned" by Australia's actions.

"That's going to be a very significant test for Scott Morrison".

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