Channel 7 first reported Bishop would join the race, with the ABC later saying it has confirmation of the news.
The ABC has confirmed Julie Bishop will be a candidate for the Liberal leadership. She is pitching to her colleagues she is the candidate who could save the most seats at the next election.
— ABC News (@abcnews) August 23, 2018
Bishop would be the most popular choice of the three amongst voters. On Wednesday night a ReachTel poll found that 29% of voters would prefer Bishop as Liberal Party leader. That’s ahead of Dutton on 10% and Morrison on 8.6%.
That’s if a leadership ballot takes place at all.
Turnbull told a press conference today that he’d hold a party room meeting to determine the leadership if he received a letter with 43 Liberal Party signatures on it supporting a challenge.
He said at the time that party members were being bullied: “The reality is that a minority in the party room, supported by others outside the Parliament, had sort to bully, intimidate others, into making this change of leadership that they’re seeking.”
Earlier this morning, Scott Morrison had put up his hand to take Dutton on in such a contest.
No matter who wins the potential leadership challenge, they could be in for a short tenure in the top job.
Turnbull said he will not remain in Parliament should he lose the Liberal leadership, meaning a by-election would occur in his seat of Wentworth. That could see the Coalition very quickly lose its one seat majority, sparking a general election.