Malcolm Turnbull will likely face a leadership challenge today with three candidates expected to stand. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Malcolm Turnbull will likely face a leadership challenge today with three candidates expected to stand. Picture: Mick Tsikas/AAP

How a Liberal leadership spill works

TODAY it's likely the Liberal party will meet to decide who leads the party.

This is how it will go down.

If Malcolm Turnbull calls a special party room meeting today, which he says he will do if a petition of 43 signatures is presented, he has indicated he will declare the leadership vacant and step aside.

This will probably sidestep the usual process, which starts when a leadership spill is requested by at least one of the 85 members of House of Representatives or the Senate, and then supported by at least one other person.

Once a vote is called, those who wish to put their hand up to be leader, will get a chance to make a speech.

If there are more than two challengers, which seems likely today, there will be two rounds of voting.

Politicians will be asked to vote for all the challengers and the ones with the lowest votes will be knocked out until there is just two people left.

Then a final round of voting will take place between the two remaining candidates. The winner needs to get 43 votes, which is a majority of the members plus one vote.

The vote is done by a secret ballot so thereotically people won’t know how others voted.

If the position of deputy leader is also declared vacant, voting on this will also happen.

Once the result is known, they will be announced to media after the meeting.

Mr Turnbull would then have to advise the Governor-General that he no longer has support of the party before the newly-elected leader is sworn in.

 

Malcolm Turnbull (left) being sworn in as prime minister by Australia's Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in 2015 after winning a leadership spill against Tony Abbott. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP NO ARCHIVING
Malcolm Turnbull (left) being sworn in as prime minister by Australia's Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove in 2015 after winning a leadership spill against Tony Abbott. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP NO ARCHIVING

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