A number of Liberal MPs have broken rank with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott to publicly declare their support for a spill motion, clearing the way for the Liberal Party to elect a new leader.
The news comes as MPs on Monday morning prepare to head into a party room meeting to decide whether they will replace Mr Abbott as leader.
Backbenchers have expressed their disappointment with Mr Abbott’s performance as prime minister, saying it is time for change.
Which MPs have publicly declared their support for a spill?
On Sunday night, Queensland MP Wyatt Roy, the youngest member of parliament at age 24, said he supported the spill.
“For too long we’ve been talking at the Australian public rather than with them,” Mr Wyatt said.
“I think our party room needs to hear from all potential candidates on their visions for the future of the government and the country.”
On Monday morning, Queensland MP Andrew Laming declared his support for the spill, saying he had changed his mind in the past 24-hours.
“I think we’re in a very difficult position,” Mr Laming said.
Mr Laming said the Prime Minister’s office’s refusal to abolish knights and dames had helped change his mind.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos said he would support the spill because he believed the Coalition ‘needed to have this discussion’.
“I will vote for a spill as that will help precipitate a discussion,” Mr Sinodinos said, expressing disappointment that Mr Abbott moved the spill forward by one day.
“Tuesday is the appropriate time to consider this issue with calm reflection rather than have the pressure of the clock on Monday,” he told The Australian.
Victorian MP Sharman Stone revealed on Sunday she would be voting for the spill because her electorate in regional Victoria ‘wanted to see change’.
“I believe there should be a spill,” Ms Stone said.
Ms Stone was highly critical of Mr Abbott last year after the government refused her request to provide $25 million and join the Victorian Government in bailing out the embattled SPC Ardmona fruit processing plant in her electorate.
Western Australian MP Luke Simpkins called for the spill on Friday, saying the government was ‘disconnected’ with the Australian public.
Mr Simpkins said he called for the spill because he believed it was “in the best interests of the people of our country”.
“I think we must bring this to a head,” he said.
Don Randall, a fellow Western Australian MP, seconded the spill after sharing the same concerns as Mr Simpkins.
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday night, Mr Randall said discontent would continue within the Coalition even if the spill was defeated.
West Australian MP Dennis Jensen was one of the first MPs to call for Mr Abbott to be replaced, calling his prime ministership “terminal”.
“We can’t continue with Mr Abbott as leader,” Mr Jensen told News Corp, saying he informed the Prime Minister that he no longer enjoyed his support several weeks ago.