Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Liberal Party leader since September last year when he ousted Brendan Nelson, is likely to face a leadership challenge of his own in the next 24 hours. Mr Turnbull has caused fury and division within his party after forcing the party to support the Labour government’s amended emissions trading scheme – amended by Turnbull. Pasted below are some key commentaries:
Sydney Morning Herrald: “Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership has been taken to the brink after his decision to put his job on the line over climate change backfired when he was rolled by the backbench. In extraordinary scenes last night, Mr Turnbull declared he wanted to cut a deal with Labor on the emissions tradings scheme and if anybody was opposed, they should move a motion and challenge him.”
The Australian: “Malcolm Turnbull last night threatened to quit the Liberal leadership if his party did not back his assessment that a majority of the Coalition supported an emissions trading scheme deal he had struck with the Rudd government. The Liberal leader laid down his “my way or the highway” ultimatum and closed the partyroom meeting after anti-ETS Coalition MPs, led by Senate leader Nick Minchin, refused to accept his calculation that the meeting had supported the ETS deal. “I am the leader, I have made the call,” Mr Turnbull said at a news conference later. “If people are unhappy with the leader they can take whatever steps they deem to be appropriate.””
The Age: “Mr Turnbull told a news conference last night: ”The Opposition has today saved tens of thousands of Australian jobs, protected vital industries and secured energy supplies by forcing significant substantial improvements to the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scsheme”. He said the deal showed the Opposition was sincere in its commitment on climate change.”
Australian Prime Minister remains hugely popular in the latest polls. Kevin Rudd enjoys a 63% to 22% advantage over Mr Turnbull in terms of preferred Prime Minister rankings.