Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived vote of confidence on leadership of Liberal Party

Feb 9, 2015 10:10 IST

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 9 February 2015 survived a vote of confidence motion on spilling the top leadership of Liberal Party. Tony Abbott was elected as the Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013.

In a party room voting, the ruling Liberal Party voted to defeat the leadership spill motion by 61 to39 votes. The party decided to not open up the top positions to contenders.

The crucial party room meeting was called to hear a motion to spill the leadership, moved by Western Australian Member of Parliament Luke Simpkins and seconded by Western Australian colleague Don Randall.

The move was aimed to declare vacant the positions of party leader and deputy leader which is currently occupied by Tony Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Julie Bishop.

Why confidence vote on leadership was brought?

Abbott’s leadership of the Liberal Party came under challenge after his popularity started slumping in past few weeks over his policy decisions. In a recent opinion poll conducted The Australian publication ruling Liberal-National coalition trailed to opposition Labour Party by 43 percent to 57 percent. Also 68 percent of the 1178 people interviewed said that they were dissatisfied with Abbott's performance.

Also within his party, he faced criticisms for his handling of the economy and for awarding an Australian knighthood to Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip.

He also was criticised for cutting health and education budgets and tightening welfare measures in a spree to rein in growing budget deficits.

If the vote of confidence would have succeeded, then the Liberal Party members of both houses of parliament could have voted for new candidates for the jobs.

The defeat of confidence vote means that Tony Abbott will remain the Prime Minister of Australia and also the leader of the conservative Liberal Party. However, the narrow margin of defeat of confidence vote means that his leadership of Liberal Party and as Prime Minister in future is uncertain.



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