Australia gets new PM as Abbott loses out to rival Turnbull
Updated: 2015-09-14 20:15
Malcolm Turnbull, former Liberal Party leader and the communications spokesman for the Liberal-led coalition, smiles as he answers questions during a news conference in Sydney in this file picture taken September 3, 2013.[Photo/Agencies]
AUSTRALIA NEEDS A CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT
The change of leaders is the latest sign of political instability in Australia, which has in recent years been convulsed by backroom machinations and party coups that have shaken public and business confidence in government.
Rudd, elected with a strong mandate in 2007, was deposed by his deputy, Julia Gillard, in 2010 amid the same sort of poll numbers that Abbott is now facing. Gillard was in turn deposed by Rudd ahead of elections won by Abbott in 2013.
Abbott has now become the shortest reigning first-term prime minister to be overthrown, Rod Tiffen, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Sydney, told Reuters.
"It's pretty amazing to think that we will have had two prime ministers overthrown in their first terms, which hasn't happened since World War Two. This shows the degree of instability within parties that we now have," he said.
Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, in a scathing press statement following Turnbull's announcement, dismissed the idea the Turnbull was capable of changing the government's trajectory.
"Australia does not need another out of touch, arrogant, Liberal leader. Australia needs a change of government," Shorten told reporters in Canberra.