Rebels plot second strike on Malcolm Turnbull after leadership vote

Australia leadership bid

Australia leadership bid

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stubbornly clung to power on Thursday, as senior ministers deserted him, saying he would hold a second leadership vote on Friday if he received a letter signed by the majority of the ruling Liberal party.

News Corp's The Australian today suggests Turnbull's challenger Peter Dutton has "displayed political cut-through" with a plan to exempt power bills from the GST.

He's slated that meeting for midday on Friday.

Kerry Stokes' West Australian wants Prime Minister (as of deadline) Malcolm Turnbull to step aside for Treasurer Scott Morrison.

"Its been described by many people, including those who feel they can not resist it as a form of madness and it is remarkable we're at this point where only a month ago we were being, as you all know being avid readers of polls, just little bit behind Labor and in our own polls a little bit ahead, but in any view thoroughly competitive", Mr Turnbull said.

Turnbull sought to raise doubts over Dutton's ability to continue sitting in parliament, with reports he has financial interests in daycare centers which receive government funding.

This bans from parliament anyone who has "any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the public service of the commonwealth".

"This is a very, very significant point", Mr Turnbull said.

In the first week of August, Australia's population surpassed the 25 million milestone, 24 years earlier than predicted in 2002 by the Howard government's first inter-generational report.

That would create a by-election that could cost the government its single-seat majority or spur his replacement to immediately call a general election.

Raab hopes Brexit deal with European Union still possible in October
I'm out here seeing Michel again. "There are three ingredients for a deal - energy, ambition and pragmatism - and if it's matched, then we get a deal".

"It's been described by many people.as a form of madness".

"I can't ignore reality", Cormann said as he announced he was withdrawing support for Turnbull, adding five other ministers who voted for Turnbull on Tuesday had told him they were changing sides.

The House of Representatives has been adjourned until September 10, meaning there will be no question time this afternoon.

"The government may adjourn the parliament, but they can not outrun the weight of failure of this government", he said in parliament.

"This is the ultimate admission of surrender, of a bankrupt government, of a failed government".

Opposition lawmaker Tony Burke argued that the government wanted to avoid question time, a daily period when the prime minister and ministers answer opposition questions for more than an hour.

"What is happening right now is the government have decided this place has fallen apart so completely that they are dissolving the parliament for the day entirely", he told the lower house on Thursday.

Mr Dutton, a hardline conservative who carved out his reputation overseeing Australia's harsh immigration policy, is unpopular with moderate voters, raising the possibility that a third, centrist candidate might still emerge.

From 1966 to 1972 there were six prime ministers, including Harold Holt who vanished while body surfing in 1967.

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