Canberra [Australia], Aug 21: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday narrowly survived a leadership ballot vote by 48-35, that was put forth by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
A spill declaring the federal parliamentary leader position of the Liberal Party of Australia vacant was announced by Turnbull. Following the vote, Dutton stepped down from his post, 9news.com.au reported.
In Australian politics, a leadership spill implies that the leadership of a ruling parliamentary party is vacant and is eligible for re-election. This may include leader and deputy leader in both Houses (House of Representatives and Senate) of the Australian parliament or just the leader.
The leadership challenge was necessitated by Turnbull amid speculations that his government was under threat and was unpopular among the people, coupled with falling opinion poll ratings.
Meanwhile, Julie Bishop remained as the Australian deputy prime minister after her post went uncontested.
Australia’s ruling Liberal Party has been facing a string of poor poll results, which also includes losing a by-election seat in Queensland and massive furore by the conservative lawmakers within the party over the changes Turnbull made to the National Energy Guarantee policy, the report said.
In 2015, Turnbull became the prime minister of Australia, after defeating his predecessor Tony Abbott in a similar leadership vote. He won the federal election in 2016.