Scott Morrison to step in for Malcolm Turnbull

Australia leadership bid

Malcolm Turnbull's political future is in jeopardy as he faces a second leadership vote

The crisis caused the Australian government to shut down Parliament early for its two-week haitus.

Legal advice prepared by the most senior legal expert in the country has cleared the path for Peter Dutton's tilt at the prime ministership.

And with senior ministers defecting, Turnbull's near three-year grip on power is tenuous despite surviving a snap ballot on his leadership on Tuesday, winning the vote 48-35. The ballot to choose a prime minister is secret, so lawmakers don't have to declare which candidate they voted for.

Crossbench MPs Cathy McGowan, Rebekha Sharkie and Adam Bandt during Question Time at Parliament House on Wednesday.

"If I believe the majority of colleagues support me then I will consider my position", he said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will now stand in for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who faces a second leadership challenge, from former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

The prime minister is facing pressure following poor opinion polls, losses in recent by-elections, and a revolt by the conservative wing of his party.

So before we get into the complexities of sorting out exactly what a change in Prime Minister could mean for Australia, let's bring it back to basics and figure out the who's-who in the Australian Survivor Parliament right now.

Australian newspapers echoed the frustration many voters feel over the constant leadership changes.

On Thursday the House of Representatives voted 69 votes to 68 not to refer Dutton to the high court, and no further attempt at a referral could occur before 10 September when parliament resumes.

"This constant rotation of Prime Ministers by both the Labor Party and the Liberal party, I can not condone".

Several ministers have tendered their resignations.

"When the partyroom meeting is called, I will invite a spill motion to be moved". It is hard to escape the conclusion that it is time the voters were given a say.

Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek told Parliament said whoever emerged as prime minister should immediately call an election, an outcome that some analysts argue is probable.

The government has not sought to adjourn the Senate.

Tolstoy's famous remark in Anna Karenina may well apply to political parties: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull is facing a demand by a party rival for a second leadership challenge, as he fights to retain his grip on power.

"We will not be taking the tax cuts for larger companies to the next election", he told reporters in Canberra. He won by a margin of just 13 votes.

"If this occurs, I will still attend National Party meetings if invited".

Scott Morrison, Julie Bishop and Peter Dutton are the contenders for the Liberal leadership.

Dutton supporters on Wednesday circulated a petition among Liberal Party lawmakers in a bid to force Turnbull to hold a ballot. Such a petition was being compiled, according to local media, although it remained unclear how many signatures he had gathered.

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