Morrison victory vanquishes ghosts of PMs past
THE ghosts of prime ministers past may have finally been vanquished with Scott Morrison's election victory.
Malcolm Turnbull and his loyalists have haunted the Coalition in the past few months with a stream of retirements and defections.
Several Liberal heavyweights abandoned the party when they considered it a lost cause, but when the votes were counted on Saturday Mr Morrison was left with a more united party.
Less than nine months after being booted from the Lodge following an ugly leadership spill, Mr Turnbull took to Twitter yesterday to congratulate his successor on an, "outstanding personal victory".
"Australians have once again backed the Coalition to deliver a strong economy, more jobs & lower taxes," he said.
A string of high-profile resignations rocked the government in recent months, among them Julie Bishop, Craig Laundy and Julia Banks - all of whom are loyal allies of Mr Turnbull - as well as Christopher Pyne, Steven Ciobo, Kelly O'Dwyer, Michael Keenan and Nigel Scullion.
Ms Bishop's seat was won by Celia Hammond, who retained it for the Liberals despite an 11 per cent swing against the party.
Joe Hockey has also announced he will depart as Australian Ambassador to the US at the end of the year rather than seek an extension of his term. It has been reported he made the decision amid concern a Labor government would not extend his four-year term for a year to allow him to stay until the US election.
Mr Morrison took over the Liberal leadership in August after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton attempted to take down Mr Turnbull but failed to secure the numbers to secure the plum job for himself.
Mr Turnbull's son Alex has been a vocal critic of the Liberal Party since his father was replaced. He has used Twitter to criticise hard-right Liberal politics and urge voters to boycott the party. In one tweet yesterday he denied being the punter who placed an $850,000 bet on Labor winning the election.
Alex Turnbull also previously admitted to orchestrating funding support for several independent candidates during the election, including Ms Banks and former Liberal Oliver Yates.
Ms Banks was unsuccessful in her attempt to unseat Health Minister Greg Hunt in the Victorian electorate of Flinders while Mr Yates lost to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong.