#LibSpill: ScoMo defeats “Potato” Dutton

In the second round of the 2018 Liberal Party leadership spill, Scott Morrison narrowly defeated Peter Dutton in contesting for leading the Liberal Party, coalition and, ultimately, the Australian Parliament.

After Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull followed a week of chaos in Parliament with a final party meeting on Friday, Liberal MPs petitioned for a change in leadership, prompting Turnbull to keep his word in standing aside, and allowing a three-way challenge between Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop.

With the Australian far-right and the Conservative faction of the Liberal Party gunning for hardliner Peter Dutton, who built his anti-immigration pitch on racist scapegoating of African and Lebanese Australians, much was at stake when moderates and the rest of Australian society lined up behind a less extremist candidate.

Scott Morrison is far from a perfect candidate either, having been exposed in 2011 for plotting to exploit Islamophobia to gain votes in key electorates; a known Coalition tactic but often denied publicly.

Both candidates have been noted to be wealthy Sydneysiders, and played a role in orchestrating the offshore detention program for imprisoning refugees. Voters have taken to social media, to both express outrage at the chaos the Liberal party has plunged the nation into, and express doubt that much would change for refugees, the other states or regional Australia, no matter who was Prime Minister at the end of Friday.

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