Australian PM Tony Abbott ‘expects spill motion to fail,’ anticipates secret ballot

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he expects the vote on whether to spill his party’s leadership will be done through a secret ballot next Tuesday. Addressing media in Townsville, Abbott said that he was “expecting this spill motion to fail.” The Liberal Party’s rules do not define whether MPs should cast their votes in secret or by raising their hands or voicing their opinions. A secret ballot could be more dangerous for Abbott but he said that is what he expected.  It is also unclear if Abbott has the numbers to survive a spill, but he said he expected the spill motion to be defeated. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he wanted conventions to be respected. ”The precedent is that it’s a secret ballot and I’d expect that it will be a secret ballot on this occasion,” he told the ABC’s 7.30 program on Friday. But he was clear what his position would be. ”I will be voting no against the spill,” he said.

The standard procedure is a secret ballot, in the end it’s a matter for the party room, but that’s the standard procedure … that’s my anticipation.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott