PM vows to lead Coalition to election victory

Elias Hubbard
December 4, 2017

Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has won back his seat, just a month after being forced to resign over a dual citizenship row.

The dual citizenship crisis has cost eight MPs, including Mr Joyce, their seats and the government its majority.

"I have every confidence, every confidence, that I will lead the Coalition to the next election in 2019 and we will win it, because we are putting in place the policies that will deliver for the Australian people", he said.

It lost its outright majority in the house when former tennis star John Alexander stepped aside in November over suspected British dual citizenship.

Labor retains a strong lead over the Coalition and would take power with an advantage of more than a dozen seats if the latest Newspoll was repeated at an election, but the new figures show an improvement for Mr Turnbull and his government after weeks of bad results.

The Fairfax-Ipsos poll contained questions about preferred leaders for the Liberal party and the survey had the foreign minister Julie Bishop ranked ahead of Turnbull as the most popular choice, with 32% support compared to Turnbull's 29%.

Joyce, leader of the National Party, reaffirmed his support for Turnbull as prime minister late Thursday, saying Australia needed "someone who has the skill set of this fella here".

'It's a little bit awe-inspiring, ' he told ABC television.

Turnbull's headaches are set to continue next week, with a self-imposed deadline of December 5 for all parliamentarians to disclose their citizenship status that could further destabilise his government.

He quit when it was revealed he held dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship - disqualifying him from parliament.

However, critics say it is out of step with the modern reality of the country, where half the population are either foreign-born or the children of immigrants.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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