Australia’s New PM: Malcolm Turnbull Beats Tony Abbott

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Australian Cabinet Minister Malcolm Turnbull will replace Tony Abbott as prime minister after Abbott was ousted as leader of the Liberal party.

Liberal party quick to oust Turnbull

The Liberal party voted 54-44 in favor of Malcolm Turnbull taking over from prime minister Tony Abbott. The ballot that pitted Turnbull against Abbott was arranged hastily, according to the BBC. The reason for this is because poor opinion polls have plagued Abbott for some time. As a result, there have been tensions over leadership for the Liberal party for some time.

Turnbull has been promising sweeping changes, but The Guardian reports that today the battle between Abbott and Turnbull boiled over after Turnbull said Abbott had not shown himself capable of being able to make widespread policy changes. Abbott’s backers insisted that their constituents had flooded the Liberal party’s headquarters with phone calls urging the party not to remove the sitting prime minister. His backers also said their party shouldn’t make the same mistake made by the Labor party earlier.

Two years in office

Today’s vote comes two years after Abbott led the Liberal party into leadership as prime minister but seven months since the party passed the controversial budget, which caused public opinion of the Liberals to plunge. That budget included plans to cut funding for education and health, add a copay for Medicare, and deregulate university fees.

The Liberal MPs also voted for Julie Bishop to remain the party’s deputy leader. Mr. Turnbull is expected to be sworn in after Mr. Abbott writes to the Governor General and resigns.

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