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Mark Latham: ‘History would tell us Peter Dutton is in the box seat for the future’

Mark Latham is confident Peter Dutton will challenge the Liberal leadership again, after his attempt to oust the Prime Minister failed today.

Mr Turnbull declared his position vacant at a party room meeting this morning and urged any challengers to come forward.

Mr Dutton contested the ballot and secured 35 votes, just seven shy of winning the leadership.

After his defeat, he resigned from his position as Home Affairs Minister and will now sit on the backbench.

Former Labor leader Mark Latham tells Ben Fordham the votes in Mr Dutton’s favour are “very significant” and another leadership challenge is imminent.

“Having got so close today, history would tell us Peter Dutton is in the box seat for the future.

“Dutton getting so close today, he’s bound to get there on the second attempt.”

When it comes to whether Mr Dutton has a high enough profile to win the next federal election for the Coalition, Mark says the former Home Affairs Minister can use his “blank canvas” to his advantage.

“Dutton tends to talk about the facts as he sees them.

“He’s not out there pretending everything’s rosy in the garden. He has done some straight talking, the electorate appreciated that.”

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Although all the focus is on Peter Dutton, Mark says there’s another potential threat to the Prime Minister who isn’t getting air-time.

“I don’t think it’s a laid down mezze.

“The third option that’s been spoken of in the past is Julie Bishop.”