Peter Dutton Is Openly Planning Another Leadership Challenge
"If I believe that a majority of colleagues support me, then I would consider my position"
Peter Dutton lost Tuesday's leadership vote but he's not laying down to lick his wounds, openly boasting that he's hitting the phones to whip up support for a second challenge against Malcolm Turnbull.
The former home affairs minister only needed to flip seven votes in the Liberal party room to reverse the 48-35 defeat. The Australian newspaper has reported that "at least half a dozen MPs" would have voted for Dutton if they had more notice of Turnbull's surprise Tuesday leadership vote, so the challenger seems almost there already.
But in a divided room, Dutton will want an overwhelming majority and mandate to lead, and he confirmed to media on Wednesday he would be making his case to colleagues. On 3AW radio, he said "of course" he is.
As we outlined on Tuesday, there's a strong history of challengers needing two votes to unseat a leader, and a second challenge could come as early as Thursday.
"You don't go into a ballot believing you're going to lose and if I believe that a majority of colleagues support me, then I would consider my position," Dutton said.
"I need to continue to talk to colleagues, we need to talk about ways to beat Bill Shorten at the next election," Dutton said.
When asked if he thought taking the leadership was the way to win the election, Dutton replied "yes I do".
Dutton also further outlined his election manifesto -- which he yesterday detailed as focusing on lower electricity prices, infrastructure investments and addressing immigration numbers -- as his attempted charm offensive continues.
He has raised the idea of having a royal commission into power companies, as well as dropping GST from power prices.