Turnbull's future hangs in the balance

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, on Aug 23, 2018.
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, on Aug 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

The fate of Australia's embattled Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is likely to be decided within hours as rivals seek enough signatures to force a vote on his leadership today.

Amid a flurry of ministerial resignations yesterday, Mr Turnbull said he would call a special meeting of the governing Liberal Party at noon today only if his main challenger - right-wing populist Mr Peter Dutton - can gather enough signatures on a petition.

As of last night, Mr Dutton appeared to be short of the 43 names needed.

Mr Turnbull has said he would not contest a leadership vote.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2018, with the headline 'Turnbull's future hangs in the balance'. Subscribe