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Aussie PM to face leadership vote

Aussie PM to face leadership vote
The move comes after Abbott’s much-ridiculed decision to award Britain’s Prince Philip a knighthood sparked two weeks of turmoil in his Liberal Party, exposing discontent over months of policy failings and plunging poll figures. “I think we must bring this to a head and test the support of the leadership,” West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins said in an email to colleagues announcing he will initiate a challenge.

“The reality is people have stopped listening to the prime minister,” Simpkins later told Sky News, ahead of a meeting of the 102 Liberal parliamentarians next Tuesday where the secret ballot will take place.

Abbott hit back immediately, saying he had the support of his deputy Julie Bishop, whose strong performance as foreign minister had seen her touted as one of the contenders for the leadership.

“They are asking the party room to vote out the people that the electorate voted in,” the prime minister said. Abbott rose to power promising stable government and an end to the brutal internal warfare that undermined the previous Labor administration, but amid plunging popularity and policy reversals, now finds himself in a similar position.  

Under Labor, Julia Gillard first ousted PM Kevin Rudd in 2010 only to be overthrown herself three years later by Rudd, who was then defeated in elections that installed Abbott as leader.
Agencies

Agencies

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