Australia PM survives leadership challenge

Published 11:11 on February 9, 2015  /  Last updated at 15:22 on May 11, 2016  /  Asia Pacific, Australia  /  No Comments

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a challenge to his leadership on Monday, putting a temporary end to speculation that his removal from power might bring about new climate policies.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a challenge to his leadership on Monday, putting a temporary end to speculation that his removal from power might bring about new climate policies.

Abbott will continue in charge after securing the support of 61 members of his Liberal party in a special party room meeting, while 39 voted against.

“The Liberal Party has dealt with the spill motion and now this matter is behind us,” Abbott said in a statement.

Observers had speculated that if Abbott lost the vote and was replaced by former party leader Malcolm Turnbull – who did not publicly announced his candidacy against Abbott – the government might adopt a more ambitious climate policy.

Turnbull would have been unlikely to bring back the carbon price, hugely unpopular within the party, that the government dismantled last year, but is seen as more friendly towards Australia’s renewable energy target than Abbott.

However, observers expect continued pressure on Abbott’s position after as many as 40 percent of votes went against him and he continued to refuse to fire Peta Credlin, his unpopular chief of staff.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com