Malcolm Turnbull has been elected as the new leader of the Federal Liberal Party, defeating Brendan Nelson in a vote this morning.
Mr Turnbull won with 45 votes to Dr Nelson’s 41 votes reversing the outcome of the leadership ballot last November where Mr Turnbull lost to Dr Nelson by three votes.
In an attempt to catch Mr Turnbull off guard, Dr Nelson last night called a spill of his leadership in a surprise move designed to end the destabilisation of the party. The move backfired.
Mr Turnbull offered Dr Nelson a frontbench job, but Dr Nelson indicated he would go to the backbench and that he would remain in the party to contest the next election.
Mr Turnbull is well known as an advocate of the Australian republican movement and Prime Minister Rudd has called on the newly appointed Liberal leader to throw his support behind the push to make Australia a republic.
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