August 20, 2018 / 11:48 PM / 3 months ago

Australian prime minister survives leadership contest

SYDNEY, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull survived a leadership challenge by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Tuesday, a government official said, which came after weeks of speculation and falling opinion poll ratings.

Turnbull won the vote for the leadership of the Liberal Party, the senior party in the government coalition, over Dutton by 48 votes to 35, chief government whip Nola Marino told reporters.

Turnbull declared the leadership of the government open earlier on Tuesday amid a backbench uprising as opinion polls showed the government on course for a heavy election defeat in a ballot due next year. (Reporting by Colin Packham Editing by Paul Tait)

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