Tony Abbott Ousted As Australia's Prime Minister By Malcolm Turnbull
In a last-minute party vote on Monday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was unseated from his position by fellow cabinet member Malcolm Turnbull. The struggling Abbott, who was in his first term as the leader of Australia, received just 44 leadership votes to Turnbull's 54. Turnbull is expected to be sworn in as Australia's 29th prime minister as soon as Abbott officially resigns.
Julie Bishop, the current deputy leader of Australia's Liberal Party, also ran to secure her deputy position. She had stated before the vote that she would not serve as deputy leader if Abbott was reelected.
Turnbull, meanwhile, previously served as minister for communications under Abbott, but recently resigned in order to challenge him in the leadership vote. This is the second time Turnbull was voted leader of the Liberal Party; he led the party in 2008, but it was Australia's opposition party at the time. Coincidentally, in 2009, Turnbull was ousted from his leadership position by Abbott. Now, Turnbull will become Australia's fifth prime minister in eight years.
According to The Guardian, Liberal Party whip Scott Buchholz announced the results to reporters just 30 minutes after the Parliament meeting began. The vote was informal and, as Buchholz put it, a secret party vote.
In a video posted on Vine, Abbott can be seen leaving the party room after being defeated. He has not made any public statements at this time.
Prior to Monday's Parliament meeting, Abbott told reporters: "I will be a candidate and I expect to win." The Guardian added that there was only five hours between Turnbull announcing a challenge to Abbott's leadership and the informal Liberal Party vote.
Abbott's sister, Sydney politician Christine Forster, sent a supportive tweet to her brother following Monday's sudden ousting.
Meanwhile, Australia's 27th prime minister, Julia Gillard, posted a congratulatory tweet to Turnbull. Gillard served as leader of the Labor Party from 2010 to 2013, when she was ousted by her own party in a similar fashion in June of that year.
In a press conference Monday following the vote, Turnbull said his leadership is going to be "one that is thoroughly consultative." The prime minister-designate continued:
The partnership with our colleagues will be a very clear cultural demonstration that we are operating in a traditional Cabinet manner and that means that I'm not going to make policy pronouncements from this podium tonight. Of course policies change, they change all the time, but they will be when people should have the confidence that we will be making decisions in a thoughtful and considered manner, recognising the significance of the work we have to do as the Government of Australia.