Scott Morrison in as new prime minister of Australia

Cheryl Sanders
August 25, 2018

Former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, an ex-police officer and right-winger, was the driving force behind the move to oust Turnbull after a Liberal Party backlash against his more moderate policies.

"Australians will be dumbstruck and so appalled at the conduct of the past week", said Turnbull.

Morrison, an ally of Turnbull, won a party-room ballot 45-40.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will replace Malcolm Turnbull as Australia's prime minister after a Liberal party coup.

Turnbull survived one attempt to knife him on Tuesday, winning a party room vote 48-35, but since then ministers had been defecting.

Morrison's victory marks the chance for a break from a decade of leadership clashes between Turnbull and Abbott in both government and opposition, but ideological divisions in the party over issues such as climate change, energy policy, immigration and even globalisation remain stark.

Dutton presented Turnbull with the signatures of just over half of his parliamentary colleagues on Friday morning, petitioning the leader to hold a meeting in preparation for a leadership vote.

It was the seventh prime minister in 11 years in a remarkable revolving door at Canberra's parliament house.

Morrison is the fourth prime minister in five years, a period of political instability that Australia has not experienced since the early 1900s.

The Australian public has grown frustrated by the changing prime ministers, and of voting in elections only to see their choice of leader overturned, usually due to public popularity and the party's chance of re-election.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been one of the first world leaders to congratulate Australia's incoming Prime Minister Scott Morrison and says he has been involved proactively in promoting New Zealand to the world in the past.

So wealthy that he preferred his own home to the prime minister's official residence on the other side of Sydney Harbor, the former Goldman Sachs partner legalized same-sex marriage a year ago over the objections of many of his conservative colleagues.

Given that the government has a one-seat majority, his political retirement would trigger a special election in his Sydney district that could imperil the government.

Ardern said shortly after the announcement that she had spoken to Morrison by phone and she looked forward to building a strong relationship with him.

"We intend to be governing ... so I don't think anybody should be making any plans for any elections any time soon", Morrison said.

As the political turmoil in Australia heated up on Thursday, a popcorn company sales manager from America received a whirl of notifications buzzing on his phone.

Turnbull was forced out after an internal power struggle within the Liberal Party. Australian shares edged higher on Friday, rebounding after three days of losses that saw the benchmark fall 1.5 percent.

Ms Ardern said she had a conversation with Mr Morrison about the opportunities they might have to meet in the future.

"The Turnbull government was actually very consistent with those values".

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