Big, beautiful photos of a dramatic day in Canberra that Tony Abbott survived as PM

It’s been a tense and tumultuous day in the Australian capital, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott surviving a potential leadership spill.

Today was also the first parliamentary sitting day for the year and as Abbott said, he prefers fighting Labor to his own party.

In the first question to the PM in the House of Representatives this year, Opposition leader Bill Shorten asked Tony Abbott the very same question he posed to former PM Julia Gillard when she faced a leadership challenge three years ago.

Shorten also asked Abbott whether he’ll abandon any budget measures, “or is he just planning to abandon his Treasurer as he did at the press conference today?”

The PM responded by saying, “I stand by my Treasurer. I stand by my team.”

Here are some of the powerful and striking photos from Getty Images of the events that unfolded in the capital.

Tony Abbott arrives for the 9am party meeting with a throng of supporters, including deputy leader Julie Bishop (right).

Abbott’s 35-member cabinet pledged loyalty to their leader in the secret ballot, with deputy Julie Bishop’s position also vulnerable in the spill.

Communications minister and possible rival Malcolm Turnbull arrives separately for the spill vote

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

‘Coffee? Check. Popcorn?’ Labor’s leadership team, Tanya Plibersek, Bill Shorten and Penny Wong, stage an airy walk past the press gallery.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

Parliamentary speaker Bronwyn Bishop, who once held leadership ambitions against John Hewson (then MP for Turnbull’s seat, Wentworth).

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

Chastened but victorious: Tony Abbott leaves the party room after surviving the spill motion.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

‘We think that when you elect a government, when you elect a prime minister, you deserve to keep that government and that prime minister until you have a chance to change your mind.”

Photo: Getty Images

“I love this country, and I will do my best to help our country to succeed.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“Good government starts today”, the PM said.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“I say to people my door is open, I am available to people and if they’re anxious about talking to person X or anxious about talking to person Y they can talk to me.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“I’ve listened, I’ve learned and I’ve changed and the government will change with me,” Abbott said. Here, Abbott speaks with his challenger apparent Malcolm Turnbull before Question Time.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

No deja vu on this side of the house…

Photo: Getty Images

“Look, all of us have had to have a good, long, hard look at ourselves over the last few weeks.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

Julie Bishop answers a dorothy dixer on the 65-year-old Colombo Plan.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“They get these zingers, they come in and it is like chewing tobacco and they roll it up against the top of their mouth, they roll it around their cheeks, the pupils dilate, there is a straining expression reminiscent to anyone who has had experience with young children, and then boom! Out it comes, a literary Exocet, aimed at the heart of your victim. How can I take the pressure from the shadow minister? He is almost as deadly as his master”. Turnbull enjoys Question Time.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“Fundamentally, this is going to be a Government which socialises decisions before they’re finalised.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“I stand by my Treasurer, I stand by my team.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

The communications minister checks the system is still working.

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

Until next time…

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

“All of us are resolved to be different and better in the future than we have been in the past.”

Photo: Stefan Postles, Getty Images

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