After a day of ugly political machinations, the Liberal Party leadership has been resolved.
Malcolm Turnbull will become Australia’s next Prime Minister, with a vote count of 54/44.
Julie Bishop beat out Kevin Andrews for the role of Deputy Leader with a vote count of 70/30.
This makes Mr Tunbull our fifth Prime Minister in eight years.
Cabinet ministers including Liberal deputy Julie Bishop threw their support behind Mr Turnbull to give him a convincing majoriy.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Abbott offered the job of Treasurer, and deputy Liberal leader to Scott Morrison, who declined the offer despite declaring he would vote for Mr Abbott in the leadership ballot.
Ms Bishop prevailed in a vote on the deputy’s position by 70 to 30 votes against Kevin Andrews, the Defence Minister who was one of Mr Abbott’s strongest allies.
The Prime Minister-designate said on his victory last night: “There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today, and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.”
Mr Turnbull told reporters “I’m very humbled by the great honour and responsibility that has been given to me today.”
The new leader also said he is not going to change the climate change policy and emission targets which have been “very well designed.”
He also vowed to bring economic vision to Australia.
Writing on Facebook Mr Turnbull said:
“This has been a very important day in the life of the nation, of the government, and of course of our party. The party room, a little while ago, elected me as leader of the Liberal Party and re-elected Julie Bishop MP as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party.
The burden of leadership is a very heavy one. Tony discharged that as leader of the party and of course as Prime Minister over many years now and the achievements of the government that he has led have been formidable. The free trade agreements that have been negotiated represent some of the key foundations of our future prosperity. And of course restoring the security on our borders has been an extraordinarily important step, enabling us for example to offer the increased and generous arrangements for Syrian refugees last week.
This has been a very sobering experience today. I am very humbled by it. We need to have in this country, and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face.
We cannot be defensive, we cannot future proof ourselves. We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian. We will ensure that all Australians understand that their Government recognises the opportunities of the future and is putting in place the policies and the plans to enable them to take advantage of it.”
He said that the new cabinet will not be decided until the end of the week.
Scott Morrison is expected to become Treasurer and according to The Advertiser education minister Christopher Pyne will be defence minister in the reshuffle.
Mr Turnbull expected to be sworn in today by the Governor-General as the nation’s 29th prime minister.
Mr Turnbull said last night he would take the government full term rather than going to an early election.
The big excitement today will happen at Question time which kicks off at 2pm.