Scott Morrison, a leader of Australia’s Liberal Party, will be the new prime minister of the country, Reuters reported on Friday. Morrison won a leadership vote in the party on Friday, defeating Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had not contested the ballot and will now quit politics, reported AP.
Morrison defeated Dutton 45-40 in a secret ballot, according to Sydney Morning Herald. Bishop was eliminated in the first round. Morrison will be Australia’s sixth prime minister since 2007.
On Thursday, Turnbull said he will convene a meeting of the Liberal Party if 43 of its MPs signed a petition requesting the same amid growing clamour for his resignation. He said that if MPs in that meeting want a leadership ballot, he will step down as the prime minister. Turnbull has been facing poor opinion polls, a defeat in July’s bye-elections and a revolt within the conservative ranks of his party.
The Liberal party heads the ruling coalition. Elections are due in the country by May 2019. Turnbull’s resignation from Parliament will trigger a bye-election, which the ruling coalition will need to win to retain its one-seat majority.