Julie Bishop May Also Be Contesting The Liberal Leadership Spill

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will have to watch his back after Peter Dutton announced he is working on

Moments after Mr Turnbull announced he may hold the meeting on Friday, Julie Bishop, the foreign minister and the Liberal deputy leader, said she would take part in a leadership contest, if one is held. But Dutton's supporters on Thursday could not find 43 lawmakers prepared to sign their names to a petition demanding a leadership ballot. "And that's been stated by the number of people who have been involved in this", he continued.

A ReachTel poll of 2,430 voters, taken on Wednesday night, showed Ms Bishop had the support of 29 per cent of respondents, nearly triple Mr Dutton's 10 per cent backing and Mr Morrison's 8.6 per cent support. I have loyally supported Turnbull since he was elected and wanted to support him for years to come ...

Mr Dutton remains the firm favourite to emerge from the midday party room meeting with the support of the majority of his colleagues, with Scott Morrison a slim outside chance to slip through and Julie Bishop with least support.

We now know which candidate key MPs are siding with, but who are our newspaper bosses rooting for?

This comes after Australia's House of Representatives has been adjourned by the government amid a battle over the Liberal leadership, with Bill Shorten arguing the coalition is "irreparably split" and should hang their heads in shame.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will also challenge for the top job in any leadership vote, local media reported earlier.

Voters expect that they will get to judge their leaders at the ballot box.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a petition to force the meeting in a sudden move on Wednesday night, just as the challenger faced doubts over whether his financial affairs made him ineligible to sit in Parliament.

"I'm sorry. You deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up to you for the past 10 years", wrote Nationals MP Darren Chester, whose party is in a coalition with the Liberals.

"I am optimistic about the potential of our people and will commit all my energy and experience to ensure the best years of our nation lie ahead of us".

"Another day and another one of chaos from this government - a government that has effectively stopped governing because it's too busy fighting itself", said deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek.

Dutton has released legal advice that his family's ownership of two child-care centres that received federal funding does not breach a constitutional ban on lawmakers having a pecuniary interest in an agreement with the public service.

No Australian prime minister has served an entire term in office since 2007, due to a series of internal party coups.

Another Turnbull supporter, Darren Chester, apologised to voters and said they "deserve better than numerous things our Federal Parliament has served up in the past 10 years".

Dutton has said he is in the clear while Turnbull said he was waiting for the solicitor-general to report back on the issue on Friday morning.

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