Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Aussie climate skeptic Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been defeated in a snap party ballot. The new Australian Prime Minister will be Malcolm Turnbull, who supports carbon pricing and emissions trading
According to the Sydney Morning Herald;
Malcolm Turnbull will become Australia’s 29th prime minister after beating Tony Abbott in a dramatic leadership ballot in Canberra on Monday night.
Mr Turnbull’s victory is reminiscent of the coup former prime minister Julia Gillard staged against Kevin Rudd in 2010 and makes the former communications minister Australia’s fifth prime minister in just over five years.
Liberal MPs gathered at Parliament House at 9.15pm to decide whether Mr Abbott or Mr Turnbull would lead them to the next election.
The challenge has plunged the Coalition government into crisis. Ahead of the ballot, both camps were confident of having the numbers but chief whip Scott Buccholz announced Mr Turnbull had prevailed over Mr Abbott 54-44. One Liberal voted informally and another was absent.
The crisis has provoked significant turmoil in Australian politics. Abbott defeated Turnbull while the Liberal Party was still in opposition, in 2009, over Turnbull’s support for a bi-partisan carbon deal. Malcolm Turnbull’s challenge seems to have re-awakened many of the old internal divisions within the party.
Turnbull is deeply unpopular with some factions of his own political party – some senior members of the party making no secret about how they feel about the new leader. Given the circumstances of the challenge, and the accusations of disloyalty leading up to the challenge, uniting the party under the new leadership is likely to prove a significant challenge.
UPDATE – We now have footage from the Liberal Party meeting which ousted Prime Minister Tony Abbott.