Malcolm Turnbull

Scott Morrison will be the next Australian Prime Minister

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The Liberal party room has spoken and Australia will have its seventh PM in 11 years, with Malcolm Turnbull stepping down as Prime Minister following a leadership challenge.

Scott Morrison will become the 30th prime minister of Australia after trouncing Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop in a three-way race for the Liberal leadership.

"ScoMo" - who has served as treasurer since 2015 - won the final showdown with Mr Dutton 45 votes to 40. The earlier motion to dump Mr Turnbull was also carried 45 - 40.

Energy minister Josh Frydenberg was elected deputy leader in an “absolute majority”, according to the government’s chief whip Nola Marino. 

Mr Morrison did not stop to talk to reporters outside the party room, saying he would speak later.

The former Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, who led the charge to replace Mr Turnbull and has resigned to sit on the backbench, congratulated his rival candidate and promised his support.

“The course from here is to provide absolute loyalty to Scott Morrison, make sure we win the election and defeat Bill Shorten,” the former Home Affairs minister said. 

Scott Morrison will become the 30th prime minister of Australia.
Scott Morrison will become the 30th prime minister of Australia.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, a strong critic of Mr Turnbull, said he would now focus on “saving” the government. 

“We’ve lost the prime minister but there is still a government to save,” Mr Abbott said. “Above all else, we are patriots.”

Malcolm Turnbull is now expected to resign from parliament altogether, triggering a by-election in his Sydney seat, after his colleagues voted to dump him in a spill. Mr Turnbull did not contest the subsequent leadership ballot.

Ms Bishop was knocked out in the first three-way vote, clearing the way for a one-on-one contest between Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison. 

The former treasurer emerged as a potential compromise candidate this week, with Ms Bishop a prominent member of the moderate faction and Mr Dutton considered a hardline conservative. 

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Prime minister-elect Scott Morrison walks in
Prime minister-elect Scott Morrison walks in

Morrison to reshape cabinet after slew of resignations 

Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Mr Morrison all emerged as leadership rivals this week ahead of Friday's party room meeting. 
 
Mr Morrison will now need to decide on key cabinet positions and make tough decisions about whether key players from the rival camps should be given seats at the cabinet table. 
 
More than 10 frontbenchers resigned in the past week after declaring Mr Turnbull had lost the confidence of the party room. 

Then Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media earlier this week.
Then Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media earlier this week.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch

In an extraordinary press conference on Thursday, the then-prime minister criticised rebel MPs within his party for staging an “internal insurgency”. 

Julie Bishop was eliminated from the leadership race first.
Julie Bishop was eliminated from the leadership race first.
AAP

"I have never given in to bullies, but you can imagine the pressure it's put people under," he told reporters. 

“They’re hard to stop,” he said.

Scott Morrison will be Australia's next PM after defeating Peter Dutton.
Scott Morrison will be Australia's next PM after defeating Peter Dutton.
SBS News

“What we have witnessed at the moment is a very deliberate effort to pull the Liberal Party further to the right.” 

Earlier, as a petition calling for a party room circulated among Liberal MPs, Senator Eric Abetz - a Peter Dutton backer - said Liberal Party's Federal Executive had called on the party to end the leadership chaos as soon as possible.

Peter Dutton lost the leadership fight to
Peter Dutton lost the leadership fight to "ScoMo" 40-45.
AAP

Complicating matters, Mr Dutton was referred to the solicitor-general over his eligibility to sit in parliament due to family financial interests in childcare centres that receive government subsidies - a possible breach of constitutional rules.

The government's top lawyer has since given advice that Mr Dutton is likely eligible to sit in the parliament

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