Malcolm Turnbull wins leadership challenge

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's assurances did not go far in quelling leadership speculation

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton's assurances did not go far in quelling leadership

While Turnbull has won the day, the battle for the leadership of the party is not over.

While the challenge over the prime ministership was ostensibly about energy policy, the true source of the leadership tensions goes much deeper.

The leadership was declared vacant within minutes of the Liberal MPs gathering in Parliament House for their regular meeting on Tuesday morning, triggering a vote.

A report in The Australian suggests Mr Turnbull had lost confidence of nine Liberal cabinet ministers - half of the Liberal contingent.

It comes after former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce suggested Turnbull should reconsider his ability to lead the Coalition to victory before the next federal election.

Labor hasn't seen the Neg legislation, and even if it did, the legislation could change within hours given the febrile state of the Coalition party room.

Dutton will move to the backbench from the Home Affairs Minister position he lobbied hard to create, where he is likely to continue to agitate for the leadership.

"Peter Dutton was at our leadership group meeting this morning and was at cabinet last night", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra yesterday.

"It is always orderly in our party room", Marino said.

That aside, a string of poor public polls aren't making things any easier for Mr Turnbull.

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".

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

Monday's Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows the coalition's primary vote has dropped from 39 to 33 in a month, and Labor leading the coalition 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

"Mr Turnbull is truly a white flag prime minister", Mr Shorten said.

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