Australian PM under pressure as voter support slides

Australian PM under pressure as voter support slides

Australian PM under pressure as voter support slides

The prime minister speaks to the media after surviving a leadership contest with the former home affairs minister Peter Dutton. On Saturday, Mr Dutton tweeted he still supported the PM and the policies of the Turnbull Government.

The conservatives, led by Dutton and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have taken issue with Turnbull's plan to embed an emissions reduction target of 26 percent within the legislation, arguing that the policy should be exclusively focused on reducing electricity prices.

Prime Minister, what do you say to those 35 who say that sticking with you guarantees that Bill Shorten will go to the Lodge?

When Mr Turnbull was asked if he had Mr Dutton's support, he replied: "Yes, absolutely".

"This is my leader and I'm ambitious for him", Mr Morrison said, giving Mr Turnbull a hug.

Now effectively neutered and unlikely to proceed, the NEG will become a millstone for Turnbull as he tries to rally his diminishing support base.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ditched plans for the country to reach emissions targets aimed at combatting climate change.

Are you anxious about another challenge against you and what do you say to the disloyalty of the Cabinet Ministers who voted against you?

"I would think the Liberal Party have a very limited chance of winning the next election", said Ian McAllister, professor of Political Science at Australian National University in Canberra.

Mr Turnbull told reporters: "We know that instability undermines the ability of any government to get anything done".

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Some believe he could make another challenge within a week, while others say he may wait until the next sitting week, the second week of September, after Mr Turnbull's expected slide in upcoming polls.

He thanked colleagues for their "considerable support" and encouragement in today's party room meeting.

But former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was replaced by Turnbull in a ballot of government lawmakers in 2015, advised Turnbull in a statement on Tuesday that "unity has to be created and loyalty has to be earned".

"Peter Dutton was at our leadership group meeting this morning and he was at the cabinet last night".

"I believe strongly that we can win the election if we get the policies and the message right about lowering electricity prices, about making sure that we can do more on infrastructure and in particular around the migration program, until the infrastructure can catch up in our capital cities. He has given me his absolute support". Mr Dutton's nickname "Potato Head" was first coined by Labor's Tim Watt in 2016 during Question Time and has stuck around ever since.

Turnbull also emphasised the vote was a secret ballot while Julie Bishop called the vote an "overwhelming vote of support".

When he was asked whether he would make another tilt for the leadership, Dutton wouldn't rule it out.

And, just to emphasise how little the passing of time changes things in internecine Liberal politics, the reason in 2009 for bringing down Turnbull was the same that now has him on a new cliff's edge: his wish to pay at least some nod towards reducing greenhouse emissions.

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.

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