Besieged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's leadership looked doomed after three of his senior ministers announced that they had tendered their resignations and called for a second leadership vote. But Dutton's supporters on Thursday could not find 43 lawmakers prepared to sign their names to a petition demanding a leadership ballot.

Turnbull has said he will not stand if the Liberal Party parliamentarians back a motion for a leadership vote.

Australia's beleaguered prime minister was resisting pressure to quit as opponents from within his party struggled on Thursday to show that he had lost the government's support.

The highest profile resignation saw Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, once a top Turnbull ally, offer to leave his post.

There is not a shred of evidence on the public record that a Dutton prime ministership would make the slightest difference to the slide in public opinion being suffered by the Coalition in Queensland, as reflected in the LNP's ghastly result in the Longman byelection. It was a major blow to Turnbull's chances of staying in office.


Kerry Stokes' West Australian wants Prime Minister (as of deadline) Malcolm Turnbull to step aside for Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Karen Middleton talks to TRT World from Canberra, Australia about what led to Malcolm Turnbull losing his support base.

The Australian government has shut down Parliament early while lawmakers in the ruling conservative Liberal Party grapple with their leadership crisis.

This sparked a series of tweets, now shared and liked thousands of times, and made him a topic of discussion in Australian politics - with many Twitter users imploring him to come over and take over the prime minister's office himself.

Cormann, in particular, is seen as the leading Senate conservative so his backflip of support for the PM has likely seen several other MPs withdraw their support for Turnbull already.

"There's far too much turmoil rather than good government". It is hard to escape the conclusion that it is time the voters were given a say.


"The reality is that a minority in the party room, supported by others outside the parliament, have sought to bully, intimidate others into making this change of leadership that they're seeking".

"I'm speaking to colleagues", Dutton told 3AW Radio.

Former Australian Cabinet minister Peter Dutton addresses the media at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Such a petition was being compiled, according to local media, although it remained unclear how many signatures he had gathered.

"I urged my colleagues to respect the decisions of the party room, and let's get on with focusing on the issues that the Australian people are concerned about".

The opposition narrowly lost a vote in Parliament that would have sent Dutton to court to determine whether he is eligible to be a prime minister.

Labor moved to refer Mr Dutton to the High Court on Thursday morning but the motion was defeated by one vote.


The question comes down to whether Mr Dutton's stake in a trustee company that operates two childcare centres constitutes a conflict of interest, given the centres receive subsidies that were legislated by the Turnbull government.

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