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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (2015 – )


Malcolm Turnbull became Australia’s 29th prime minister on September 15, 2015.

Turnbull had resigned as Minister for Communications in Tony Abbott’s Liberal-Nationals coalition government on September 14. He announced that he would challenge Abbott’s leadership and charged that Abbott had failed to articulate the government’s economic policies. He cited 30 consecutive losses in Newspoll in support of his argument that the Australian electorate had given up on Abbott.

In the leadership ballot on September 14, 2015, Turnbull defeated Abbott by 54-44.

Turnbull became the 29th Prime Minister of Australia when he took office on September 15, 2015. Following the July 2016 federal election, he was returned to government with a one-seat majority.

On December 10, 2016, Turnbull became the 22nd longest-serving prime minister, surpassing Joseph Cook, the first Liberal PM, who also won an election, in 1913, by just one seat. On June 10, 2017, Turnbull became the 21st longest-serving prime minister when he overtook William McMahon, the only Liberal PM who never won an election.

Turnbull moved into 20th position on August 7, 2017, when he overtook Harold Holt. Of the nine PMs Turnbull has overtaken so far, only Cook and Holt won an election.

If he can survive the current round of adverse opinion polls and ructions inside the Liberal Party, especially over same-sex marriage, Turnbull will overtake Tony Abbott’s term on September 12, 2017.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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