Peter Dutton resigns from front bench after failed leadership challenge

Australian prime minister abandons climate change targets | TheHill

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.

Under the Australian system, as in the United Kingdom, the prime minister is not directly elected by voters but is the leader of the party or coalition that can command a majority in parliament.

On Friday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was forced to hose down speculation he was prepared to make a tilt at the top job.

Sky News reports Julie Bishop's position as deputy Liberal leader is also being contested.

Party whip Nola Marino said confirmed Mr Turnbull won 48 votes to 35 for Mr Dutton.

Mr Turnbull has been forced to change his energy policy - formulated and agreed to just last week - to head off the threat of his own colleagues voting against the policy in Parliament.

"Tony Abbott is not making any secret about his unhappiness so it is a statement of the obvious, it is not a revelation to anyone in Australia, that Tony Abbott is unhappy with the leadership and the direction of some of our policies, he has said so himself", Mr Pyne said.

"I think people would be horrified if the government changed leader again".

"If we are fighting amongst ourselves, guess what, when the voters go to the election, they'll mark us down as they should", Mr Laundy said.

"I don't actually expect a challenge today, but we'll wait and see", he told the ABC on Tuesday.

After losing Dutton, a former police officer who ran a powerful department that oversees the country's domestic spy service, border force and national police, quit and moved to the backbench, broadcaster ABC reported.

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

"We are not going to propose legislation purely for the goal of it being defeated", he said.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the prime minister should call an election, if he survives the week. Mr Abbott told reporters outside Parliament House on Monday evening.

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