Malcolm Turnbull wins leadership challenge

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If Mr Dutton had won today's spill he would have become Australia's sixth PM since 2010, and 30th prime minister overall.

Energy bills rose by up to six times the average wage rise previous year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

While several backers of Mr Dutton have admitted to a "wait and see approach", nine cabinet ministers were ready to get behind the Home Affairs Minister - half of cabinet's 18 Liberals, The Australian reported.

Just yesterday Mr Turnbull said he had Mr Dutton's "absolute support".

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The Prime Minister forced his rival to show his hand by declaring all leadership positions vacant as soon as the party room meeting started this morning.

The Home Affairs Minister confirmed will face off against the prime minister in a leadership spill.

But the bill had support from lawmakers outside Turnbull's center-right Liberal Party, and it appears likely that the leader is caving to pressure from conservative members of his own party, according to the Times. But deep discontent has been brewing for a while, with Turnbull's critics unhappy with him on a range of fronts, and the Coalition losing 38 consecutive Newspolls.

"I think there might be a second phase strategy here".

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One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said she would not support legislation that allowed government's to reduce emissions targets through regulation, opening up another battle for the government in the Senate if it fails to secure Labor's support.

Such a situation occurred when Turnbull took the leadership from Abbott, with an "empty chair" challenge in February 2015 returning Abbott but a September 2015 challenge seeing Turnbull take the top job.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce yesterday backed Mr Turnbull to remain as leader and welcomed the Government's changes on the contentious energy policy.

"That is what people are telling me and that is what the government wants to do", he said.

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"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.