Sydney, August 31: Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today resigned from parliament, a source familiar with the matter said, stripping the government of its one-seat parliamentary majority.
Turnbull last week said he would resign from parliament after he was ousted from office in a bitter party-room contest which ushered in the country’s sixth leader in the last decade.
“The speaker of the house of parliament received a resignation letter from Malcolm Turnbull this afternoon,” said a source familiar with the matter. The source declined to be named as she is not authorized to talk to the media.
The by-election in Turnbull’s wealthy Sydney electorate could be held as early as Oct. 6. House of Representatives Speaker Tony Smith said in a statement he was considering possible election dates.
Turnbull has been criticized by former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for refusing to stay in Parliament until the next election, due in May next year. Joyce, who fell out with Turnbull over an affair Joyce had with a former staffer, said “people are going to be really disappointed” by Turnbull’s decision not to serve his full three-year term.
After a tumultuous Liberal party leadership battle last week, the two-party-preferred vote between the opposition Labor party and the coalition blew out 56-44 in favor of Labor, which would translate into a heavy election defeat.