Australia Has A New Prime Minister – And He Supports Marriage Equality

You may have seen, a little earlier today, that Malcolm Turnbull challenged Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s leadership. All he needed was enough votes to topple Abbot from his position.

And now, it seems Malcom has done it – Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been defeated in a leadership vote, with the Labour party voting 54-44 in favour of the new Australian PM.

We all know that Tony Abbott has been a stubborn roadblock for those trying to get same-sex marriage in the country, despite around 70% of Australians supporting the move for marriage equality. He had even gone so far as to refuse his MPs a free vote on the issue, his only concession was agreeing to a plebiscite or referendum after the next election; which could have delayed the first marriages to 2017 or beyond.

But, it seems very likely that Turnbull will allow the vote, as his campaign director Rodney Croome said: “Our preferred path forward remains a free vote in parliament this year.”

Before the vote was cast, Turnbull had this to say: “It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers. Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs.”

“He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs. Now we are living as Australians in the most exciting time. The big economic changes that we’re living through here and around the world offer enormous challenges and enormous opportunities.”

“We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people.”

“The only way we can ensure that we remain a high wage, generous social welfare net, first world society is if we have outstanding economic leadership, if we have strong business confidence. That is what we in the Liberal Party are bound to deliver and it’s what I am committed to deliver if the partyroom gives me their support as leader of the party.”

The Prime Minister-elect is expected to be sworn in after Mr Abbott writes to Australia’s governor general and resigns.