Turnbull Dutton Leadership Vote

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After all, it's only three years since he launched his own "spill" to oust former prime minister Tony Abbott.

Julie Bishop reclaimed her position as deputy leader after running unopposed for her role.

Mr Turnbull told reporters earlier on Monday he had the confidence of Mr Dutton, the cabinet and the partyroom.

Malcolm Turnbull has held on to his job after vacating the Liberal party leadership and calling a spill, prevailing in a snap contest against the home affairs minister Peter Dutton 48 votes to 35.

Frydenberg said voters were exhausted of governments repeatedly changing their prime ministers. "We are making sure we have got a policy that everyone unites behind and we get on with the task of governing for all Australians and taking up it up to the leader of the opposition".

Dutton has consistently shied away from admitting his desire to take on Turnbull, with Liberal MP Christopher Pyne telling Sunrise host Kochie just hours before the party room voted, that Dutton remained loyal to the Liberal leader.

Malcolm Turnbull himself survived a leadership spill motion when he was opposition leader, but was later defeated by Tony Abbott.

But the result is so narrow it is set to create ongoing problems for the government.

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Mr Dutton has now resigned his powerful position as Home Affairs minister and will move to the backbench, in keeping with the tradition of cabinet solidarity.

Some Liberals also expect other frontbenchers to quit the ministry, which would cause a major reshuffle.

"I've spoken to him directly and he's told me he supports Malcolm Turnbull", Pyne said.

Choosing to back down on the emissions legislation shows that Mr Turnbull wants to avoid testing his support in a parliamentary vote.

While Coalition marginal seat holders have publicly supported Mr Turnbull, some privately lobbied in favour of Mr Dutton to improve the party's chances in Queensland.

However, those who didn't support it threatened to "cross the floor" - that is, vote against it in Parliament.

Conservatives in his coalition were reportedly sounding out colleagues for a possible leadership challenge before Turnbull on Monday announced the removal of emission reduction targets from the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) policy.

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