Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media at Parliament House, Canberra Thursday, 5 June, 2014.
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media at Parliament House, Canberra Thursday, 5 June, 2014. AAP Image - Gary Schafer

Malcolm Turnbull confronts Tony Abbott on Coalition woes

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott faces increasing pressure on his leadership, with Malcolm Turnbull confronting the PM on the government's unpopularity, prior to a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Fairfax Media is reporting that "several sources" had confirmed the unscheduled sit down, requested by Mr Turnbull.

It is understood that Mr Turnbull pushed the PM to give more detail on how he would turn around government popularity, currently stuck deep in the doldrums.

In response, Mr Abbott repeated the themes he made public during a National Press Club Speech earlier this week.

Mr Turnbull is said to have been "underwhelmed" by the response, according to Fairfax.

On Thursday night, Mr Turnbull told media the Prime Minister had "the support of the entire party" but would not confirm the meeting with the PM.

Mr Abbott's speech on Monday was considered to be a final chance to "hit the reset button" on leadership speculation by spelling out the government's vision in 2015.

He deigned the next day as "back to work Tuesday" in an effort to quiet the rising chorus of concerns about his leadership and the Coalition's precarious position in the polls.

Since then, the government has been consistently struck by further agitation from backbenchers.

Mr Abbott told Sky News on Thursday he believed both Mr Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop - both considered likely Mr Abbott's likeliest successors - when they said they would not challenge him.

 



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