Another day, another challenge on the leadership of the country. Malcolm Turnbull’s days as Prime Minister appear cooked, as it seems either Peter Dutton or current Treasurer Scott Morrison will be our next PM.
Australian voters could be forgiven for their confusion. How did we get to this point? And just who is Dutton?
WHAT’S GOING ON?
On Tuesday, Minister for Home Affairs, Dutton challenged Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal party. He thought the party had lost faith in the PM. Turnbull, Dutton believed, was not popular enough.
Indeed, the latest polls show the Coalition, under Turnbull, trailing Labor. And with a Federal Election next year, Dutton thought it was time to act.
The PM survived the leadership spill, beating Dutton 48-35 in the spill, but the damage was done. Dutton resigned from the Cabinet, and this morning announced he’d have a second stab at the top job.
This time, he reckoned he had the number to win. “I called the Prime Minister to advise him that it was my judgment that the majority of the party room no longer supported his leadership,” Dutton told reporters in Canberra today.
“As such, I asked him to convene a meeting of the Liberal Party at which I would challenge for the leadership of the parliamentary Liberal Party.” Then, Turnbull lost the backing of ministers Mathias Cormann, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash. Now, Scott Morrison will run against Dutton.
WHO IS PETTER DUTTON?
Dutton is a former Queensland cop, who has made his money though savvy property investments and childcare centres. He lives in Brisbane with his wife Kirilly and their sons Harry, 14, and Tom, 12. He also has a teenage daughter, Rebecca from a previous relationship.
The problem for Dutton, apart from the fact he reportedly can’t name an AC/DC song, is that voters do not love him. He’ll have to launch a charm offensive – and kiss a bunch of babies - if he wants to lead the part to victory at the election.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Dutton could triumph over Morrison, becoming the 30th Prime Minister of Australia. Or perhaps Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop will throw her hat in the ring. Of the three candidates, the ever-popular politician would be the one Labor would likely fear facing the most.
And then there is Tony Abbott, the main Turnbull toppled to become leader back in 2015. Is Abbott poised to strike?
WHAT CAN WE DO?
At this point, stand back and shake our heads. Some of us, in our moments of deepest despair, may even consider the unthinkable – crossing the ditch to New Zealand. You can’t imagine the Kiwis knifing their beloved Prime Minister – and new mum – Jacinda Ardern, can you?