Australia is getting its sixth prime minister in 11 years, after Malcolm Turnbull was ousted by his own party today (Aug. 24). He is replaced by Scott Morrison, who was previously Australia’s treasurer.
Turnbull’s resignation caps a week of drama within the Liberal party, with the conservative wing of the party challenging the prime minister’s leadership, or what locals call a “leadership spill.” Morrison, an avowed Christian who voted against marriage equality in last year’s referendum, beat out former home affairs minister and immigration hard-liner Peter Dutton in today’s party vote to become the new leader. Foreign minister Julie Bishop also threw her name in the hat for the position.
No Australian prime minister has served out his or her full term since John Howard lost in an election to Kevin Rudd in 2007. Howard had served 11 years in the top post. Since then:
- Rudd’s Labor party colleague Julia Gillard ousted him in 2010, and became Australia’s first female prime minister
- Gillard was brought down three years later by Rudd
- Rudd returned to power and called a general election months later
- Rudd was defeated in September 2013 by Tony Abbott, returning the Liberal-National coalition to power
- Turnbull toppled Abbott in 2015 in an internal party challenge, and won a 2016 election.