Turnbull knifed, Dutton knifed, Morrison grabs the job.
After the September 2015 knifing of Abbott, Turnbull was always on borrowed time. That time was up in August 2018.
With an election due LNP MPs were nervous about the government’s poor opinion polling. Turnbull faced a revolt from conservative MPs over Climate Change policy (again) and Dutton, sitting on a very narrow margin, was particularly worried. He had also lost more than 30 Newspolls in row, the benchmark he set when he knifed Abbott.
Turnbull knew Dutton would challenge so he called a spill to catch Dutton unprepared. Turnbull survived 48-35. After the poll was finished he told colleagues “It’s really important that we put our differences behind us and get on with the job of looking after Australians“. Yeah, right Malcolm. Dutton went on to say that he stood because he believed he had “the best prospect of leading the Liberal Party to success at the next election”. After the spill Scott Morrison said “This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him!” he declared exuberantly, as he put arm around Turnbull, Judas Iscariot style.
Of course, the tension didn’t end there and a few days later there was another spill after Dutton went and got the required numbers to call one. Turnbull lost key backers and decided to step down. Morrison entered the race along with Julie Bishop. She lost with only 11 votes and it was now down to the two men. Morrison beat Dutton 45-40, again the Libs split down the middle.
So, is Morrison really the accidental Prime Minister? Not an innocent bystander according to this report.
First spill documented here – https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/21/malcolm-turnbull-survives-leadership-contest-peter-dutton
Great history of the event – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Liberal_Party_of_Australia_leadership_spillsTweet