Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull fights for survival after leadership challenge

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"It would be kinder to voters and more in the national interest if Mr Turnbull drove to Yarralumla (Mr Cosgrove's official residence) and called an election a year early", The Sydney Morning Herald wrote in an editorial.

"Waiting for a letter with signatures of a majority of party Australia".

Mr Turnbull told a news conference he has asked for a letter from the MPs who want another vote, and if he gets that he will hold a party meeting tomorrow. Mr Hogan did not respond to requests for comment.

"I was very grateful when Malcolm invited me to serve in his Cabinet in September 2015".

"I will continue to serve him loyally into the future". The mass resignation of his previously loyal ministers prompted him to take the extraordinary step of dissolving parliament.

Last night, he was in Mr Dutton's office.

"I'm speaking to colleagues", Dutton reportedly told 3AW Radio of the possibility of mounting a new challenge to Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull has waited several hours before announcing he is insisting on a petition with the names of the people calling for a new vote clearly listed.

"The iron laws of arithmetic confirmed my leadership of the Liberal Party", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Dutton has an interest, through a family trust, in two child care centres which receive subsidies through government programs.

The uncertainty around the cabinet and the prime minister was fuelled by a separate review by the solicitor-general whether Dutton was in breach of section 44 of the Constitution.

Turnbull said he wanted the government's legal advice on Dutton's eligibility presented to Friday's meeting.

Deputy Tanya Plibersek called for an election.

He declined to endorse a successor amid reports Treasurer Scott Morrison will also seek the leadership in the event of a ballot.

Dutton and his camp, including former prime minister Tony Abbott who once described climate change as "absolute crap", have also made clear keeping power prices down was more important than meeting Canberra's commitment to slash carbon emissions by 26 per cent by 2030.

Question Time was messy as senior ministers who offered resignations - which were not accepted by Mr Turnbull - were forced to pledge loyalty to the Prime Minister.

"This is a very, very significant point", Mr Turnbull said, having battled through the MP citizenship saga.

The pair have followed Mr Dutton, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and James McGrath from the front bench.

One party wins, another party loses and if the other party wins it will be the Labor party in government and Bill Shorten will be the prime minister. As far as I'm concerned, things are going according to plan.

Detail from Sean Leahy's cartoon on the leadership spill.

Labor legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus sent the advice to Mr Porter, sending a warning shot over a potential legal challenge if the Liberals chose Mr Dutton.

In a major blow, Turnbull's influential Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, along with the employment and education ministers, then said he no longer had their backing.