Joyce suggests Turnbull should reconsider his ability to win the next election

Joyce Election 2018
Barnaby Joyce at Parliament House. (Photo: Kym Smith)

17 Ausgust 2018

Emily Ritchie – The Australia

Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has suggested Malcolm Turnbull should reconsider his ability to lead the Coalition to victory ahead of the next federal election but denies any knowledge of a leadership spill.

Rumours emerged today that conservative MPs have been encouraging Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to challenge for the leadership amid growing disapproval of the PM’s energy policy.

The National Party member for New England said the first he heard about the rumoured leadership spill was while watching television.

“I have no knowledge of any such challenge, I’m watching that on the news” Joyce told ABC’s RN Drive radio program this evening.

He said that while he did not support the removal of Tony Abbott and that “changing Malcolm Turnbull” shouldn’t happen, there comes a time when leaders need to self-reflect on the likelihood of an election win under their leadership.

“I’ve always said openly that if a person gets to a point where they think they can’t win an election then they should consult with their colleagues about what happens next,” Mr Joyce said.

“My opinion is that you have a responsibility to make sure the nation has the best government, so if you think that’s not going to happen under your stewardship then find somebody who it should happen under but…that is definitely not now.”

Asked when Turnbull should reconsider his position, Joyce said “before the election”.

“I just think that it’s beholden on any leader to make sure their side wins and that’s a question for down the track,” he said.

“Any leader, it’s the same with the Labor Party, make no mistake about it. They won’t be going to an election with Mr Shorten if they think Mr Shorten’s going to lose, that’s politics.”

It comes as The Australian revealed Mr Turnbull would dump the government’s plans to legislate the 26 per cent Paris emissions reduction target in a dramatic capitulation to rebel MPs and Ministers threatening to cross the floor and vote it down.

[Read The Australian article, may be behind a paywall].

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