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Tony Abbott to face leadership vote

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Tony AbbottAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is scheduled to face a party vote on his leadership next week.

Western Australian Member of Parliament (MP) Luke Simpkins called for a vote on Abbott’s leadership to be held during Tuesday’s party meet in Canberra, Xinhua news agency reported.

The motion followed weeks of speculation regarding Abbott’s future amid unrest within the government over poor poll results and Liberal’s loss in recent Victorian and Queensland state elections.

Abbott’s decision to award an Australian knighthood to 93-year-old Prince Philip, without consulting fellow party members, had also drawn criticism.

Although reports claimed deputy party leader Julie Bishop might challenge Abbott for his role as the country’s leader, those suggestions were quashed when he revealed she would campaign alongside him to defeat the leadership spill motion.

After three federal MPs insisted Abbott did not have their full backing earlier in the week, the prime minister’s statement Friday led to a flurry of support from Liberal party members.