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Australia: New plot to oust Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The Australian Prime Minister is on the brink of his political career - about to be pushed over the proverbial cliff as backbenchers and Ministers alike realise they cannot win the next federal election due in 2016 with him at the helm.

The upcoming NSW state election next month is starting to rattle the Liberals with fears that if Tony Abbott remains Prime Minister, he will go close to ensuring a Labor victory in that state, just as Tony Abbott's spectre as Prime Minister was one of the factors at play in the Queensland state election in January which saw the Campbell Newman's Liberal National Government toppled after one term.

It's not if, but when, Tony Abbott will be forced to fall on his sword - something now strongly supported by a majority of Australians.

Say goodnight Tony, because the lights are about to go out on your divisive political career.

Tony Abbott: Facing another
leadership crisis.
The Courier-Mail reports: LIBERAL MPs are mulling another attempt to topple Tony Abbott, with an increasing number now advocating a strike before next month’s NSW election.

In a marked shift in the mood against Mr Abbott within his Government, some MPs who vowed to give the PM until the middle of the year to improve after the last failed leadership spill, are now talking about fast-tracking another challenge.

Some Liberals want to wait until after the March 28 poll to ensure the federal turmoil does not harm the chances of NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird.

This would mean any challenge would be delayed until after the Budget, which is due to be handed down on May 12, when Parliament returns from a six-week break. But Liberals who had previously argued for a delay have told The Courier-Mail there is now active talk about bringing on a challenge within weeks.

Both Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop are being encouraged by their colleagues to run against Mr ­Abbott but neither has committed to do so.

MPs have spoken about options for ways to spark another leadership showdown in the fortnight of parliamentary sittings before the NSW election. But some who want a change of leader have argued against this approach, fearing it will spell disaster for their NSW colleagues.

Tensions were on display as several Liberals confronted Mr Abbott with complaints at a Liberal partyroom meeting yesterday.

Don Randall demanded to know why Mr Abbott sacked Philip Ruddock as whip; Andrew Southcott and Rowan Ramsey complained about the confused tender process for submarines; and Craig Laundy and Andrew Laming criticised the Government’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on children in immigration detention.

Abbott govt has 'lost confidence' in Triggs

Mr Abbott rebuffed the complaints and defended his actions. He did not accuse Mr Ruddock of doing anything wrong but said his decision to replace him as chief whip was a form of renewal.

The outbursts came as the PM faces growing pressure to change his leadership style and dump his chief-of-staff Peta Credlin.

In the latest of a series of attacks on Ms Credlin, the Liberal party’s honorary treasurer Philip Higginson complained of a conflict of ­interest between her and her husband Brian Lough­nane, who is the party’s federal director.

“How this party ever let a husband-and-wife team into those two key roles where collegiate competitive tension is mandatory and private consultations between colleagues to see that each side is served well, is a ­complete mystery,” Mr Higginson wrote in one of two scathing letters to the Liberal executive.

PM stands by Credlin amid email leak

Peta Credlin

“Peta Credlin was able to be deputy chief-of-staff to Malcolm Turnbull when Brian Loughnane was federal director. There was no problem then and there’s no problem now,” Mr Abbott told Sydney radio 2GB.

But the PM admitted some of his own side were trying to destroy him.

“Plainly there is this desire on the part of some to damage and destroy this Gov­ernment, but I’m not going to be distracted by that,” Mr Abbott said.

In a pointed address to MPs yesterday, Mr Abbott warned they would hand power to Labor if they did not focus on their jobs in government and stop infighting.