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Turnbull survives leadership contest but battle far from over

21 August 2018

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has narrowly survived a leadership challenge - putting an end, for now, to speculation about his political future.

Labor has been willing to support the Neg, the Emissions Intensity Scheme, and the Clean Energy Target, but Turnbull "hasn't been able to deliver his own party".

The close numbers, however, isn't great news for Turnbull moving forward.

Dutton has now resigned from the ministry, as expected, and we could see further Dutton backers step down from the frontbench after their attempted coup.

Mr Dutton attended Mr Turnbull's office on Tuesday morning, shortly before the prime minister announced the leadership vacant.

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Turnbull said Dutton had told him he would not challenge for the party leadership.

'He thanked his colleagues for their support, ' Ms Marino said.

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Fellow MPs from Mr Dutton's home state of Queensland are also understood to have been encouraged to turn on Mr Turnbull. Kevin Andrews moved a spill on November 26, 2009 and lost.

It took two unsuccessful challenges for Kevin Rudd to re-take the prime ministership from Julia Gillard in February 2012 and March 2013, before Rudd finally won in June 2013.

He appeared to have support from Dutton at the time, who tweeted: "In relation to media stories today, just to make it very clear, the Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the Government".

"He (Mr Turnbull) looks like he's in panic mode", a "senior figure" involved in the campaign against the Prime Minister told the newspaper.

"We can win next year if we become united and stick with Mr Turnbull", Mr Pyne said.

Mr Abbott said: 'It's no way to run a government, making absolute commitments on Tuesday and breaking them on Friday'.

Even former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, a staunch critic of Mr Turnbull's direction on energy prices, has been in his corner.

But Treasurer Scott Morrison said was "fully supportive" of the Prime Minister.

Turnbull survives leadership contest but battle far from over