AUSTRALIA is set to get a new Prime Minister.
On Monday night Malcolm Turnbull won a party room vote against Tony Abbott 54 votes to 44. The meeting ran for little more than 30 minutes.
The position of Deputy Liberal Leader was contested by Julie Bishop and Kevin Andrews. Ms Bishop won that battle by a convincing 70 votes to 30.
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The news was delivered by Government Whip Scott Buchholz. Mr Abbott won office in September 2013. This result means that Mr Abbott has served as Prime Minister for less time than Labor’s Kevin Rudd who was elected as PM in 2007 and overthrown by Julia Gillard in 2010.
Uncertainty surrounds the future roles and responsibilities of Treasurer Joe Hockey. There has been growing discontent from within the party. Mr Hockey previously told the Sydney Morning Herald that senior ministerial colleagues including Julie Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull and Ian Macfarlane were unhappy with him because he slashed their budgets.
EARLIER: LIBERAL politicians have entered the party room to vote on the positions of Leader and Deputy Leader.
It comes after Malcolm Turnbull quit as Communications Minister on Monday to announce that he would challenge for the top job. Mr Turnbull supporters have indicated that he may attract around 60 votes in his favour, he needs at least 52 of a possible 102.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for a meeting to be held on Monday night, with the by-election due in Canning in Western Australia this weekend.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that if Mr Abbott won tonight’s vote Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would run as Mr Turnbull’s Deputy, meaning she would not continue in her current role.
Ms Bishop has served as Deputy under three Liberal leaders between 2007 and 2015 they were Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott.
The position of Deputy Prime Minister, currently held by Warren Truss, is also being voted on.
Liberal politicians arrived at Parliament House in dribs and drabs at around 9:15pm and remain inside the party room.