Peter Dutton’s camp say they have 40 signatures on a petition to force a spill of the leadership – just short of the 43 Malcolm Turnbull demanded to force a party-room vote. Dutton supporter, Zed Sesejla, said late on Thursday the challenger was “around about the mark”. Party moderates dispute that assessment, with some predicting the leadership crisis could thunder on unresolved until federal parliament resumes in September. Both Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop intend to run in a three-way leadership contest if the spill goes ahead, after an extraordinary day of chaos in which the parliament was suspended. You can read Katharine Murphy’s take on yesterday, and on what’s ahead today in what she calls the battle for the “heart and soul of the Liberal party”.
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