Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been toppled in a 54-44 vote by Malcom Turnbull in an internal conservative revolt on Monday. Turnbull, the communication minister, will now become the nation’s 29th prime minister, but the fourth to become prime minister in just over two years.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott lost in a Liberal Party leadership ballot in what was the second challenge to his position by members of his conservative party just this year. Further, Julie Bishop beat Kevin Andrews 70-30 in the ballot for the Deputy Liberal leadership. The change in leadership comes as the 2-year-old conservative coalition government struggles in opinion polls. The conservative party is attempting to win back public sentiment by replacing the nation’s polarizing leader, who has been described as the most socially conservative Australian prime minister in decades, with his more moderate rival.
The Liberal Party came to power in 2013 as an alternative to the then-Labor government, which was seemingly powerless to stop floods of illegal immigration. Labor came to power under Kevin Rudd in 2007,but he ousted by his deputy Julia Gillard in 2010 just a few months ahead of scheduled elections. The divided and then-chaotic government replaced Gillard with Rudd prior to the 2013 election.