Despite securing the support of his party for his energy policy, the Prime Minister is facing intense scrutiny from within the Coalition ranks.
However, average Australians could be forgiven for not understanding where this new leadership crisis is coming from. So, what’s happening?
The PM recently announced even more changes to his National Energy Guarantee in order to prevent some Coalition MP’s, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, from voting against the policy.
This inability to quickly unite his party behind his own policies does not look very good for the leader of a sovereign nation, and people are noticing. Now it appears he is facing a leadership challenge which seems to be hinged on his lack of popularity.
With the election predicted to take place in the middle of 2019, Labor’s 38 consecutive Newspoll lead does not look good for the Coalition.
Also, results from recent by-elections indicate a large swing towards Labor candidates which, if replicated in the election, would be disastrous for the Coalition.
Given the recent undermining of his energy policy and the ongoing division between himself and the more conservative elements of his party, the Coalition may be looking for a leader who represents the right better.
Peter Dutton, the Minister for Home Affairs, has been singled out as the major leadership rival for the Prime Minister.
As a former police officer with strong views on national security and Australian cultural values, Dutton is a natural favourite for the traditional conservatives of the Liberal party.