Spill liberal party: leadership challenge

Kalashnikov

Kalashnikov

Cosgrove is British Queen Elizabeth's representative in Australia and would need to be on hand to swear in a new prime minister if Turnbull was ousted, or to accept Turnbull's request to dissolve parliament if he decides to call an early election. Here are the five key developments so far today.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a petition to force the meeting in a surprise move on Wednesday night, just as he faced doubts over whether his financial affairs made him ineligible to sit in Parliament.

Following a failed bid to claim leadership of the Liberal Party, Peter Dutton has followed in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's footsteps by failing to name a single AC/DC song when asked which is his favourite during a radio interview.

They backgrounded media supporters at Sky News that a party room meeting was definitely on, that Turnbull was finished, that Mathias Cormann had resigned, that ministers were bailing out left and right, so to speak. I will continue to serve him loyally into the future, " Senator Cormann said next to the Prime Minister yesterday after it was announced the Coalition would not take the policy to the next election.

The challenger resigns from his Cabinet position as home affairs minister.

Turnbull survived a ballot on his leadership on Tuesday, winning the vote 48-35.

Assistant ministers Michael Sukkar and Zed Seselja have refused the prime minister's offer to remain on in their positions, throwing their weight behind Mr Dutton ahead of a second leadership challenge.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ousted his predecessor, Tony Abbott, a Dutton ally, in the same way nearly three years ago.

A series of Cabinet ministers and Dutton supporters are seen going into and out of the PM's office.

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Cormann, the finance minister, had publicly stated his support for Turnbull on Wednesday, but on Thursday said Dutton should lead the government.

Even among Liberal voters, 28.6 per cent said they were more likely to back in Dutton compared to 50.3 per cent who might go elsewhere.

Despite Turnbull's win, it laid bare that dozens of his own MPs do not want him as their leader, and Dutton worked the phones and blitzed the airwaves Wednesday to shore up more support for another widely-expected crack at the top job.

"A WA Liberals consider who should replace Mr Turnbull, they should see that Mr Morrison is the best bet for the nation, particularly for WA".

Mr Turnbull said the policy would be an "expensive" with Mr Morrison adding it would cost states $7.5 billion and the Commonwealth would have to reimburse the states.

But the advice found Mr Dutton had no pecuniary interest within the meaning of section 44.

Whoever emerges as Australia's next prime minister, they will become the country's seventh prime minister in a decade.

Thursday is the last day of parliament until September 10, with the next scheduled Liberal partyroom meeting on September 11.

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