Malcolm Turnbull faces second leadership challenge from Peter Dutton

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra Australia

Polls show Mr Morrison only has 5 per cent support as the preferred leader of the Liberal party.

Former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, an ex-police officer and right-winger, has been the stalking horse seeking to unseat Turnbull after a party backlash against his more moderate approach to politics.

His rival Peter Dutton this morning took the petition to Mr Turnbull and demanded a meeting.

There are three Liberal candidates fighting for the top job of prime minister of Australia and their fate is expected to be decided in a party room meeting at midday.

Turnbull survived a snap ballot on his leadership on Tuesday, winning the vote 48-35. "A minority has by a process of intimidation ... persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give in to it. ..." I have never done that.

The party whip was personally phoning everyone on the list to make sure they had signed, broadcaster ABC reported.

Wants to receive solicitor general advice on Dutton's eligibility to sit.

The matter is likely to be dealt with by the end of the day, however, given Peter Dutton is now believed to be closing on the remaining few signatures needed to bring the Liberal leadership crisis to a head.

"There will be no question time today because they don't know who their ministers are. they don't know who their prime minister is", he thundered across the chamber.

"Australians will be rightly appalled by what they're witnessing in their nation's parliament today and in the course of this week", Mr Turnbull said in Canberra on Thursday.

More news: Pacers hand India an 168-run advantage over England

Despite Mr Dutton getting the numbers for a challenge, there is no guarantee he will assume the top job, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Treasurer Scott Morrison - both Turnbull allies - also in the running.

"I will treat that as a vote of no confidence", said Mr Turnbull, who yesterday faced a mass exodus of ministers.

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

"As such, I asked him to convene a meeting of the Liberal Party at which I would challenge for the leadership of the parliamentary Liberal Party", he added.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a petition among Liberal Party politicians to try to force Mr Turnbull to hold a ballot, but they failed to get the minimum 43 signatures required.

But conservative MPs maintain the only way to be competitive at the next election, particularly in Queensland, is to ditch Mr Turnbull, who they think is not right wing enough.

One minister was so disillusioned with the push to oust Turnbull that he took to Twitter to apologise to the Australian people.

Opposition lawmaker Tony Burke argued that the government wanted to avoid question time, a daily period when the prime minister and ministers answer opposition questions for more than an hour.

Were she to win, she would become Australia's second female prime minister and the first from Western Australia since 1945.

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