Australia government lawmakers on Friday elected Treasurer Scott Morrison as the next prime minister in a ballot that continues an era of extraordinary political instability. Morrison defeated the key challenger Peter Dutton, a former Cabinet minister, by a vote 45-40. Dutton’s supporters had forced incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to hold the leadership ballot. Turnbull did not contest the ballot and has said he will quit politics.
Dutton’s failure prevents the Australian policy shifting to the hard right. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had been among the favourites and could have become Australia’s second female prime minister. She was rejected on the first round of voting.
Turnbull has become the fourth prime minister to be dumped by his or her own party before serving a full three-year term since the revolving door to the prime minister’s office started in 2010. The trend is universally hated by Australians.
Dutton’s and Turnbull’s camps waged the most chaotic, frenetic and at times farcical leadership struggle that Australian politics has seen in years, closing down Parliament on Thursday and damaging the Liberal Party’s credibility.