Scott Morrison to become Australia’s next PM

Australia Treasurer Scott Morrison will be Australia’s new prime minister after winning a three-way battle for the leadership of the Liberal party today, with incumbent Malcolm Turnbull not contesting the party ballot.

There were three contenders in the leadership vote: former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, who narrowly lost a leadership vote against Turnbull on Tuesday, Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Morrison, an ally of deposed leader Turnbull, won a party-room ballot 45-40.

Bishop, another Turnbull backer, was eliminated in the first round of voting.

The Liberal party is the senior partner in the ruling conservative coalition that will face an election by May 2019.

The Liberal-National government has consistently trailed the opposition Labor party in opinion polls.

If Turnbull resigns from parliament, he would leave the new government facing a by-election for his Sydney seat that could see it lose its one-seat majority.

Turnbull said on Thursday he believed that former prime ministers are best out of the parliament.

Turnbull had faced two challenges to his leadership in the past week