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Fri, 07 Sep 2018 12:02 - Updated Fri, 07 Sep 2018 12:02

Australia's new prime minister to face hostile parliament in test of mettle

SYDNEY - Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, elected to heal his fractured party, faces his biggest test on Monday, in steering the government through a hostile first session of parliament.

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Picked last month by the ruling Liberal Party to become the sixth prime minister in the last decade, following a backbench revolt that ousted predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, Morrison has enjoyed a brief honeymooon period.

“How Morrison performs over the next fortnight will be critical,” John Hewson, former leader of the Liberal Party, told Reuters.

“Bill Shorten, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, will be sitting like a mosquito in a nudist colony, he has so much to bite into,” he added.

“The only trouble he will have is deciding where to begin.”

Labor is the largest opposition party.

But even before Morrison even faces opposition lawmakers as leader for the first time, he will have to contend with Australia’s most prominent political poll, due to be published late on Sunday.

The influential Newspoll, which has been a key driver in the demise of several leaders, showed support for Morrison’s government at a decade low last month.Reuters

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