Turnbull Dutton Leadership Vote

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

The deputy leader's position was also declared vacant with Julie Bishop re-elected unopposed.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has survived a challenge to his leadership by a senior government colleague.

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.

Neither Turnbull or Dutton have spoken yet following the vote.

Dutton, the Home Affairs minister, has resigned from the frontbench, which will trigger a reshuffle.

Mr Turnbull asked Mr Dutton to stay on in Cabinet, but it's understood he told him it would be untenable. Climate groups anxious that the National Energy Guarantee would not do enough to combat climate change.

In 2009, Turnbull, then leader of the Liberal Party in opposition, crossed the floor to vote with the Labor government in favor of an Emissions Trading Scheme, a move that ultimately lost him the party leadership.

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The concerns have been fuelled by fear among Queensland seat holders, who have been thrown into a panic after the plunge in the Liberal National Party vote in the recent Longman byelection. Australians are due to hold a general election early next year.

Turnbull had attempted to see off a challenge by retreating on energy policy that was contentious among the conservative wing of his party, but his backdown was not enough. I think he probably still is.

Peter Dutton received 35 votes, a significant chunk he could build on going forward.

Mr Turnbull's risky move may have backfired as it exposes the weakness of his position and the size of the split between the two factions of the Liberal Party.

He told Sky News on Monday: 'Peter Dutton is doing a very good job, Malcolm Turnbull is doing a good job, I think people now want this to settle down'.

Mr Turnbull said he would not proceed with the emissions target - part of his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) - because it had no prospect of passing through the House of Representatives, where he has only a slim majority.

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