It’s all turned to custard for Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Despite winning a leadership ballot earlier in the week, the vultures of the hard right kept circling and this morning several Cabinet Ministers announced that they had changed their minds and now believed Turnbull has to go.
It now looks as if Turnbull has accepted that he no longer has the numbers and ally, Treasurer Scott Morrison, is being primed to replace him. Morrison will likely face off against Australia’s nastiest politician, Peter Dutton, who will be looking to pick up the 8 further caucus votes he needs to take the reigns.
Whoever wins, Australia will probably end the day with a PM who has not been given a mandate to lead by Aussie voters. Weirdly, this is the eleventh time this has happened in 60 years and the third time in a decade.
In the last hour Parliament has been closed early, just before Question Time was due to be held. Labor leader Bill Shorten was quick to point out what this means:
“Australia no longer has a functioning government. This is the ultimate admission of surrender, of a bankrupt government, of a failed government”.
UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull calls press conference at 1PM AEST (3PM in NZ).
UPDATE: Turnbull expects a ballot tomorrow, will not stand.
UPDATE: Julie Bishop is doing the numbers, expected to run.
UPDATE (Friday arvo) Scott Morrison is PM.