Australian PM Turnbull survives party leadership challenge

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Energy bills rose by up to six times the average wage rise past year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Dutton was the first Minister for Home Affairs, engineering the merger of the super portfolio which essentially made him Australia's inaugural King Cop.

"In relation to media stories today, just to make very clear, the Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the government", Mr Dutton tweeted.

Energy policy, Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbott are all contributing factors to Turnbull's woes, Professor Jennifer Curtin says.

The contest came suddenly during a closed-door Liberal partyroom meeting when Mr Turnbull declared the leadership positions vacant, forcing challengers to declare their intentions.

Dutton will move to the backbench from the Home Affairs Minister position he lobbied hard to create, where he is likely to continue to agitate for the leadership.

Malcolm Turnbull on Monday conceded that he could not get legislation through the House of Representatives where his conservative coalition holds only a single-seat majority.

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Chief government whip Nola Marino announced the close margin at the tense party room meeting which has been labelled a "humiliation" for Turnbull with a frontbench who does not support him.

The leadership talk was fueled by an Ipsos poll published in Fairfax newspapers, which showed support for Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition falling four points to 45 percent, 10 points behind opposition party Labor and enough for a crushing electoral defeat.

Such a situation occurred when Turnbull took the leadership from Abbott, with an "empty chair" challenge in February 2015 returning Abbott but a September 2015 challenge seeing Turnbull take the top job.

But Treasurer Scott Morrison said was "fully supportive" of the Prime Minister.

Julie Bishop retained the deputy leadership.

"That is what people are telling me and that is what the government wants to do", he said.

"In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver", Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday.