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THE CONTENDERS: The race to replace Malcolm Turnbull heats up…

Macquarie National News

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he has received a request for a meeting of the Liberal Party, with the 43 signatures required.

The meeting is tipped to be held at noon today.

Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton are all but certain to contest the Liberal leadership, however they may yet face opposition from Julie Bishop and possibly even former leader Tony Abbott.

Tom Elliott tried to find out which of the four Liberal Party heavyweights was most likely to replace Malcolm Turnbull.

He spoke with 3AW’s Canberra correspondent, Michael Pachi, who provided an update.

“I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that if it’s between Dutton and Morrison – Morrison would get over the line,” Pachi said.

“I think Morrison would get the 48 votes that Turnbull had in Tuesday’s spill and the waverers in the Dutton camp would also move their support to Scott Morrison.

“I think Scott Morrison would have more numbers.”

As for the foreign minister’s chances?

“My understanding is that Julie Bishop just simply doesn’t have the numbers in the party room,” Pachi said.

“She may be more popular than Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, according to opinion polls, but she just doesn’t have that support in the party room.

“But, this is such a fluid situation that anything can happen.”

Some even suspect Mr Abbott will throw his hat in the ring.

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Macquarie National News