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Turnbull Now 23rd Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull is now Australia’s 23rd longest-serving prime minister.

TurnbullTurnbull is the nation’s 29th Prime Minister. Whilst he has not yet reached a year in office, he has surpassed the terms of 6 of the other 28 who have held the office since 1901.

Turnbull has been prime minister for 10 months and 18 days, a total of 324 days. After overthrowing Tony Abbott in a Liberal Party leadership ballot on September 14, 2015, he was sworn in as PM on September 15.

If Turnbull is still Prime Minister on December 9 this year, he will overtake Joseph Cook’s 452 days in office. Cook’s Liberal Party won office in 1913 with a majority of one, as Turnbull has just achieved. He went to a double dissolution election less than halfway into his term and was comfortably defeated by the ALP’s Andrew Fisher, who then became the second man to serve three terms in the top job.

Turnbull has overtaken the time in office of 2 Labor and 4 non-Labor PMs: Frank Forde (ALP, 8 days), Earle Page (Country Party, 20 days), John McEwen (Country Party, 23 days), Arthur Fadden (Country Party, 39 days), Chris Watson (ALP, 113 days) and George Reid (Free Trade, 321 days). [Read more…]


A Scenario For Tony Abbott And A Motion Of No-Confidence

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s intention to give notice of a no-confidence motion when Parliament returns this week has always been a potentially messy business.

A brief explanation: the government controls the Notice Paper in the House of Representatives. This is the document which outlines the order and timing of debate, including the order of legislation.

Whilst there are set times when the Opposition can bring on debate on particular issues (such as in regular Matters of Public Importance), if it wants to move a specific motion it needs to first move a motion for the Suspension of Standing Orders.

Abbott

Abbott attempted to do this during Question Time on March 21, whilst the government was preoccupied with the leadership spill that wasn’t. He sought to suspend standing orders in order to move: “That this House declares no confidence in the Prime Minister.”

The motion was carried by 73 votes to 71 but was defeated because a suspension of standing orders requires an absolute majority of 76 votes.

Abbott then announced that he would give notice of a no-confidence motion when the House resumes tomorrow. He didn’t say whether it would be no-confidence in the government or the prime minister. The difference is technically significant but may not necessarily be crucial to the outcome of any vote. [Read more…]