Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull clung to power on Wednesday as rebel Liberal party lawmakers pressed for a second leadership contest just a day after he narrowly survived a challenge from former home minister Peter Dutton.

Turnbull, whose Liberal Party is the senior partner in the coalition government, had won a party-room vote by 48 to 35 on Tuesday, but the unconvincing victory had left him vulnerable to another challenge.

Australian media reported that party rebels were petitioning for another vote as early as Wednesday, and needed just 43 signatories to force a fresh contest. If successful, Turnbull is likely to be ousted without completing three years in power, and Australia will have to pick is seventh leader in a decade.

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