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Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull (born 24 October 1954) is an Australian politician who is the 29th and current Prime Minister of Australia, in office since September 2015. He first served as Leader of the Liberal Party and as Opposition Leader from 2008 to 2009, and again became party leader (and thus prime minister) after defeating Tony Abbott at the 2015 leadership spill. The Turnbull Government was re-elected at the 2016 federal election with a one-seat majority.

Turnbull attended Sydney Grammar School before going to the University of Sydney, where he graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He then attended Brasenose College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, taking the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law. For over two decades prior to entering politics, Turnbull worked in personal and managerial positions as a journalist, lawyer, merchant banker, and venture capitalist. A multi-millionaire, he purchased a stake of internet service provider Ozemail in 1994 for $500,000 and sold his stake just months before the dot com bubble burst in 1999 for $57 million, paving the way to his current estimated net worth of above $200 million with entries in the BRW Rich 200 list. Turnbull became a public figure as chairman of the Australian Republican Movement from 1993 to 2000. He was one of the leaders of the unsuccessful "Yes" campaign in the 1999 republic referendum.

Turnbull unsuccessfully contested Liberal preselection for the Division of Wentworth (in New South Wales) at a 1981 by-election and the 2001 federal election. He was finally successful in the lead-up to the 2004 federal election, and was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives. Elevated to the Howard Cabinet in January 2007, he briefly served as Minister for the Environment and Water until the defeat of the Liberal government at the 2007 election. Turnbull declared himself a candidate in the subsequent leadership election, but lost to Brendan Nelson by three votes. Following a period of poor opinion polling, Turnbull challenged and defeated Nelson by four votes in September 2008, thus becoming Leader of the Opposition.

Because of his views on issues like climate change, republicanism, same-sex marriage and abortion, Turnbull is considered part of the moderate wing of the Liberal Party. His support of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme proposed by the Rudd Government in late 2009 caused a split with the conservative wing, and Tony Abbott subsequently challenged and defeated him for the leadership by a single vote. Initially intending to leave politics, Turnbull remained in parliament and became Minister for Communications in the Abbott Government following the Coalition victory at the 2013 federal election. On 14 September 2015, citing consistently poor opinion polling for the government, Turnbull resigned from cabinet and challenged Abbott to a leadership ballot, which he won by ten votes. He was sworn in as prime minister the following day and formed the Turnbull Government.

Opinion polling indicated that Turnbull enjoyed a "honeymoon period" of several months after becoming prime minister, but from around April 2016 both his personal satisfaction ratings and the Coalition's two-party polling lead had evaporated. At the July 2016 federal election, the Turnbull Government retained majority government by just a single seat, the smallest majority since the 1961 election. In the days of uncertainty following the election, Turnbull had negotiated with the crossbench and secured confidence and supply support from Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan in the event of a hung parliament and potential need for minority government.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

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