ID 0388

Commonwealth Government of Australia beginning 15 September 2015 - period in office of Prime minister Turnbull, Malcolm Bligh ending on 24 August 2018

Period in office of prime minister (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Prime minister
Turnbull, Malcolm Bligh
Date of beginning of period in office
15 September 2015
Date of end of period in office
24 August 2018 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of party leader 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of prime minister at start of period
Liberal Party
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
National Party
Coalition partner 2
Liberal National Party (Qld)
Coalition partner 3
Country Liberal Party (NT)
Coalition partner 4
Country Liberal Party (NT)
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of prime minister
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

House of Representatives elections contested as prime minister or after which became prime minister (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Prime minister at election Prime minister's party Prime minister after election Prime minister's party
COM 2 July 2016Malcolm Bligh TurnbullLiberal PartyMalcolm Bligh TurnbullLiberal Party

Previous period in this series for COM | Next period in this series for COM


Change of party leader: Beginning of Turnbull's period in office; After a series of unfavourable public opinion polls for the Liberal Party and Prime Minister Abbott, and disagreements within the Liberal Party caucus over government policy and some decisions of the Prime Minister, Abbott was defeated as leader of the Liberal Party by Turnbull at a meeting of the Parliamentary Liberal Party on 14 September 2015 by a vote of 54 to 44. Turnbull was commissioned to form a Liberal Party and National Party coalition government on Tuesday 15 September 2015.

Turnbull ministry: After 'revamping' the coalition agreement with the National Party (see Jared Owens, 'Barnaby Joyce defends Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition agreement, The Australian, 16 September 2015, online here; (a subscription may be required) [accessed 21 September 2015]), Prime Minister Turnbull's coalition ministry of 30 was sworn in on Monday 21 September 2015. There were 21 members of cabinet and 9 members of the outer ministry.

This database only includes members of the government who hold commissions as ministers, whether in cabinet or in the outer ministry. It does not include parliamentary secretaries, an office designed to assist ministers in running their departments and to give parliamentary members of the governing party or coalition experience in executive government. Prime Minister Turnbull chose to change the name of these parliamentary secretaries to 'assistant ministers' but members holding these positions will continue to be excluded from the number of ministers in the government recorded in this database.

Coalition parties: The four parties that made up the Liberal Party and National Party coalition in this parliament were the Liberal Party (with representatives from all states and the Australian Capital Territory); the Liberal National Party (with representatives from Queensland); the National Party (with representatives from New South Wales and Victoria); and the Country Liberal Party (with a representative from the Northern Territory). In parliament, the parties caucused as the Liberal Party or the National Party, in addition to meetings of all members of the coalition. While all members elected as candidates for the Liberal Party and the National Party caucused with their respective parties, members of the Liberal National Party (LNP) and the member of the Country Liberal Party (CLP) had a choice as to which caucus they joined. A majority of the LNP members in this parliament caucused with the Liberal Party, the remaining LNP members and the CLP member caucused with the National Party.

For the Turnbull ministry, 4 of the 25 ministers from the Liberal Party caucus were from the LNP and, of the 5 ministers from the National Party caucus, one was from the LNP and one from the CLP.

Change of party leader: A long series of unfavourable public opinion polls for the coalition government had led to dissatisfaction within the Liberal Party caucus over the performance of Turnbull as Prime Minister. By August 2018, caucus disagreements over Turnbull's energy policy prompted a challenge to Turnbull's leadership by Peter Dutton. In a caucus ballot on Tuesday 21 August, Turnbull retained his position as Liberal Party leader by a vote of 45 to 38 against Dutton. But developments within the Party required Turnbull to call a second Liberal caucus meeting on Friday 24 at which he was forced to resign and did not contest the leadership. In the vote for party leader which followed, the three-way contest between Julie Bishop, Peter Dutton, and Scott Morrison was won by Morrison with 45 caucus votes to Dutton's 40. Turnbull announced that he planned to resign his seat in the House of Representatives.