Who are newspapers backing in Dutton v Turnbull leadership spill?

Ann Santiago
August 24, 2018

Besieged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's leadership looked doomed after three of his senior ministers announced that they had tendered their resignations and called for a second leadership vote.

Labor used Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday to ask seven of the nine Cabinet ministers who voted for Mr Dutton whether they still supported Mr Turnbull.

In a surprise vote of ruling lawmakers Tuesday, Turnbull defeated Dutton in such a ballot by 48 votes to 35.

Media reports say other lawmakers are considering running for Turnbull's job, including Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Then again, it doesn't seem to matter too much what voters want, because the Liberal Party are the ones making the decision, and its track record supporting women in leadership positions doesn't inspire confidence.

Dutton said he was canvassing for support to take another tilt at Turnbull, possibly as early as this week.

Mr Morrison is expected to pick up the Turnbull votes, with the ultimate fight predicted to come down to the Treasurer, and Peter Dutton.

In fact, leadership spills have now actually been listed by a high quality academic source a href="https://tendaily.com.au/news/politics/a180819yxl/is-it-on-maybe-heres-why-20180820" *the final catalyst for the leadership spill occurred over the Aussie energy crisis and Turnbull's proposed emissions targets which brought about huge backlash from party conservatives - including old mate Tony Abbott.

Mr Dutton from Austin, Texas, was subsequently inundated with support from Australians.

The prime minister said he wanted to also check the eligibility of Dutton to be an MP.

Ms Bishop entered the Liberal leadership race last night after Mr Turnbull agreed to step aside if he saw written proof that he had lost the support of most of the party room.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commands a one-seat majority in the House of Representatives, but a leadership change could see some Coalition MPs move to the crossbench, robbing Mr Dutton of control on the floor.

Dutton, described by supporters as a pragmatic legislator who gets things done and by detractors as a racist who demonises refugees, quit his cabinet position after his first failed leadership bid.

"It's been described by many people, including those who feel they can not resist it as a form of madness", he said.

Dutton has released legal advice that his family's ownership of two child-care centres that received federal funding does not breach a constitutional ban on lawmakers having a pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service.

The government adjourned the lower house on Thursday afternoon, suggesting that Turnbull's priorities lay with handling the latest party mutiny.

"Australians will be rightly appalled by what they're witnessing in their nation's parliament today and in the course of this week", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Furious opposition lawmakers argued against the motion to adjourn the House of Representatives until September 10.

The upper house Senate rejected the policy on Wednesday and Mr Turnbull said soon after he would no longer pursue it.

"In the case of Mr Dutton, I think he'll have to establish that he is eligible to sit in the Parliament".

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