Political change Australian PM Tony Abbott ousted

In the dramatic late night party leadership ballot, Mr Abbott, who had been plagued by poor opinion polls, received 44 votes to Mr Turnbull's 54.

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Australia is to have a new prime minister after Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.

In the dramatic late night party leadership ballot, Mr Abbott, who had been plagued by poor opinion polls, received 44 votes to Mr Turnbull's 54.

Mr Turnbull said he assumed that parliament would serve its full term, implying no snap general election.

The new leader will be Australia's fourth prime minister since 2013.

play Malcolm Turnbull

 

The prime minister-elect is expected to be sworn in after Mr Abbott writes to Australia's governor general and resigns.

Earlier on Monday Mr Abbott had dismissed rumours of a leadership challenge as "Canberra gossip" - only to be voted out by his fellow Liberal MPs.

play Tony Abbott

 

They also voted for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to remain deputy leader of the party.

Speaking after the result was announced, Mr Turnbull praised his predecessor for his "formidable achievements" as prime minister.

The new party leader said Australia needed to have "the economic vision, a leadership, that explains the great challenges and opportunities we face".

He said he would lead "a thoroughly Liberal government, committed to freedom, the individual and the market".

Who is Malcolm Turnbull?

  • Served as Minister for Communications under Mr Abbott, before resigning to launch a leadership challenge
  • Many in his party dislike his support for climate change action and gay marriage
  • Led the Liberal Party in opposition from 2008-2009 - but lost a leadership challenge to Mr Abbott by one vote
  • Previously worked as a successful lawyer and businessman - defending former British spy Peter Wright in the "Spycatcher" case in the 1980s

Ahead of the vote, Mr Turnbull had said if Mr Abbott remained as leader, the coalition government would lose the next election, which is likely to take place next year.

He said he had not taken the decision to launch a leadership challenge lightly, but that it was "clear enough that the government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need".

Ms Bishop had supported his bid to become party leader.

The last Australian prime minister to serve a full term was John Howard, who left power in 2007.

Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted by rival Kevin Rudd in a leadership vote in June 2013 - months before a general election won by Tony Abbott's Liberal Party and its coalition partners the National Party.

Ms Gillard herself had ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

Mr Turnbull had previously been leader of the Liberals while in opposition, but was ousted by Mr Abbott in 2009.

Mr Abbott survived a leadership challenge in February, but his government has consistently been behind the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls.

 

Source: BBC

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