Sydney (dpa) – Tony Abbott (pic) was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party on Monday by his communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in a move that will see him replaced as Australian prime minister.
Turnbull, now premier-designate, won by 54 votes to 44, after resigning his portfolio and calling for a leadership vote earlier in the day.
After winning the ballot, Turnbull said: “We need to have in this country, and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities we face.”
“There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian,” he continued.
His government would be “committed to freedom, the individual and the market,” he said.
Polls consistently found Turnbull to be more popular with voters than Abbott.
“This not a decision that anyone would take lightly,” Turnbull said earlier. “This course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time.”
“The prime minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs.”
“We need a different style of leadership,” he said.
“We have lost 30 news polls in a row,” he said, indicating that the opposition Labor party would win another election. “It is clear that the people have made up their minds about Abbott’s leadership.”