Australian PM survives vote of confidence


Canberra, Feb 9 (IANS) Australia’s ruling Liberal Party voted Monday morning to defeat a leadership spill motion, thereby retaining Tony Abbott in his role as the party leader and the country’s prime minister.

Tony Abbott

But the margin of the party-room vote — 61-39 — was not emphatic enough to ensure Abbott’s long-term future as prime minister.

Given that none of Abbott’s colleagues had put their name forward as a leadership candidate, the vote effectively meant 39 Liberal Party MPs voted for no particular individual, just as a protest against the prime minister’s embattled leadership.

Many commentators and political pundits felt Abbott needed a vote in the high 40s if he was to safely see off this internal party-room challenge to his leadership.