Australia's Turnbull survives leadership vote; Dutton leaves

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra Monday

Fall-out continues after this morning's leadership challenge, with Peter Dutton announcing that he is stepping down after the failed attempt.

"It is possible to see him winning back support the LNP in Queensland has been bleeding", Mr Atkins said, identifying conservative voters who now support One Nation and Katter's Australian Party as those most likely to be won over by Mr Dutton.

Turnbull thanked Dutton for his work as home affairs minister, saying he had done an "outstanding job".

At least three Nationals MPs, including Veteran Affairs Minister Darren Chester, are threatening to quit the Coalition and sit on the cross bench if Dutton becomes Liberal leader.

"My job is to keep Bill Shorten away from government", Dutton said.

Seeking to safeguard his leadership, Turnbull called on his party to back him or risk losing the next election to the opposition Labor party.

Some political commentators believe that Dutton, buoyed by his strong showing, could challenge Turnbull again within days, especially if there is a mass exodus from the Cabinet. Even just 20 years ago, a prime minister declaring a vacancy and a subsequent leadership spill would have been all the news the average person heard in a week.

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'If we are fighting amongst ourselves, guess what, when the voters go to the election, they'll mark us down as they should, ' Mr Laundy said.

A stymied effort to cut corporate taxes, a citizenship crisis that cost a number of lawmakers their seats, and his perceived arrogance as the so-called "Mr. Harborside Mansion" of Sydney have all weighed on Turnbull's popularity with voters.

"I support the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull", added Senator Cormann.

Judging by social media, there's not a whole lot of sympathy flying Mr Dutton's way following his crack at leading the Liberal Party.

Turnbull also confirmed he offered Dutton the opportunity to stay on in the position but Dutton felt he could not stay on after challenging for the leadership. And if they don't strike today, it's expected Mr Turnbull's leadership won't survive past mid-September when the next Newspoll drops.

"He's a member of our team, he's given me his absolute support", Turnbull said.

And some will seem odd: "I worked closely with Malcolm Turnbull to make sure we can achieve that".

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Peter Dutton (right) did not attend a dinner with Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday night.

Conservative leaders like Victorian Michael Sukkar, who bring numbers, and Mr Cormann would be more likely to support Mr Dutton if he chose to pull the trigger.

"These are people who, for their own reasons, have made a decision to offer their resignation but I know that the Prime Minister is working very hard to heal the divisions and to bring the party together", Ms Bishop said. Mr Dutton's nickname "Potato Head" was first coined by Labor's Tim Watt in 2016 during Question Time and has stuck around ever since.

Dutton has refused to rule out another run for the prime ministership.

"(They) have given me unequivocal assurances of continuing loyalty and support", Mr Turnbull said.

Under the Australian system, as in the United Kingdom, the prime minister is not directly elected by voters but is the leader of the party or coalition that can command a majority in parliament.

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