Australia's embattled PM abandons greenhouse gas emissions proposals

Australia's PM Turnbull in Berlin

Mr Turnbull has been forced to change his energy policy - formulated and agreed to just last week - to head off the threat of his own colleagues voting against the policy in Parliament.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday stripped requirements for reducing greenhouse emissions from his centrepiece energy policy in the face of political opposition, although the country remains a signatory to the Paris Agreement.

He was criticised by Liberal Warren Entsch, who reportedly "got stuck into" Mr Abbott in the joint party room meeting.

The vote this morning confirms Mr Dutton has the backing of a significant group in the party room - mostly conservatives - to replace Mr Turnbull as PM. In an obvious reference to Abbott and his supporters, Pyne said: "The polls are about 50-50 and there's a lot of hyperventilating going on, and there's a few people I think who are trying to put the band back together from the late 2000s, noughties". "My position from here will be to do what I can as a backbencher to make sure that I support the government, to make sure we are elected and can keep Bill Shorten from the Lodge".

It came after a sharp fall in opinion poll ratings and talk of an imminent challenge, which in turn has raised the possibility of an early election.

A by-election in Wentworth would also complicate matters in any change of leader. The rumblings are about all manner of things, including, one said to me yesterday, 'Malcolm Turnbull is just not one of us.' There are deep values arguments that are being made.

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Turnbull called the vote at a meeting of conservative Liberal Party lawmakers as speculation mounted about his support within the government.

'Where are this prime minister's convictions?' .

Dutton has since announced that he will step down as Home Affairs and Immigration Minister.

Nearly three decades ago Paul Keating fired what he insisted was his "one shot in the locker" to try to blast prime minister Bob Hawke from Labor's leadership.

The party infighting over energy policy risks tipping the nation into a renewed period of political chaos and revolving door leadership that's seen Australia switch prime ministers five times since 2007.

"It is possible to see him winning back support the LNP in Queensland has been bleeding", Mr Atkins said, identifying conservative voters who now support One Nation and Katter's Australian Party as those most likely to be won over by Mr Dutton. In the situation that the government's in now, and destined to lose the next election to Labor, astoundingly, maybe Tony Abbott would've been the alternative to take on this position.

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After losing Dutton, a former police officer who ran a powerful department that oversees the country's domestic spy service, border force and national police, quit and moved to the backbench, broadcaster ABC reported. The concerns have been fuelled by fear among Queensland seat holders, who have been thrown into a panic after the plunge in the Liberal National Party vote in the recent Longman byelection.

"If we are fighting amongst ourselves, guess what, when the voters go to the election, they'll mark us down as they should", Mr Laundy said.

Despite his public silence, it is understood that Dutton on Friday privately told Turnbull that he was comfortable with the government's energy policy.

"I do think there is a danger for him", said University of Sydney professor Anne Twomey.

He also refused to say publicly what advice he would offer Turnbull, saying he "doesn't offer advice over the airwaves", but acknowledged the pair had a "very cordial conversation" earlier in the day.

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