Turnbull survives leadership contest but battle far from over

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Senator Matt Canavan back the government's energy plan

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Senator Matt Canavan back the government's energy plan

Adding to the prime minister's woes have been a string of poor poll results.

His pre-emptive move to bring on the challenge from the Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton axis was tactically astute but has changed nothing.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said earlier Mr Dutton had told him the prime minister has his absolute support. Would you prefer the Government to be led by another leader, or is Malcolm Turnbull the best man for the job?

"We always thought that he was convicted on climate change issues".

Coincidentally, Turnbull as opposition leader in November 2009 faced a spill motion.

Peter Dutton to challenge Malcolm Turnbull. But when Hockey refused to oppose a carbon emissions trading scheme, Abbott stood at the December 1 ballot and defeated Turnbull by one vote.

"I think the real game here, and hold on to your seats people, is about a return of Tony Abbott after an election defeat next year when he rises from the ashes". "I will support what the government does, I will support what Malcolm does".

The leadership crisis followed Turnbull's Monday capitulation to the Coalition rebels over energy policy.

Sky News is reporting that after Mr Turnbull called the spill, Mr Dutton put his hand up to challenge.

"What we want to know is, where are this prime minister's convictions?"

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Turnbull called the vote at a meeting of conservative Liberal Party lawmakers as speculation mounted about his support within the government.

Supporters of Mr Dutton believe the required 43 votes need to topple Mr Turnbull can be found, however the prime minister appears to still believe he has the numbers. Former Labor prime ministers Julia Gillard and Bob Hawke had similar experiences.

'We've had a great period of stability over the past three years.

"I think there might be a second phase strategy here".

Mr Turnbull insisted he enjoyed the confidence of his party room - a claim echoed by several Cabinet ministers.

Mr Shorten said he was open to a deal on energy if the Government released the legislation but Mr Turnbull admitted he had not spoken to Labor.

Mr Abbott said the internal war over energy was not a personality contest.

The deputy leadership was also declared vacant, but Julie Bishop was the only person nominated so hung on to her role.

"I'm certain he is telling the truth", he told the Nine Network.

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