Here's who we know is voting for Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott

Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty.

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull face off for the Liberal leadership tonight after Turnbull announced his challenge this afternoon.

Turnbull resigned as communications minister, as expected of a cabinet member not supporting the leader, but so far he’s the only minister to step down.

Around 99 MPs are expected to take part in the vote at 9.15pm. In a break with tradition, neither Abbott nor Turnbull will address the party room before the vote.

The political scuttlebutt as everyone jostles for support, the initial view was that Turnbull had around 60 votes, but as the night wears on, seasoned political observers believe the vote is now closer than first thought.

Tellingly, while the prime minister’s most ardent supporters rallied around him quickly, several key ministers have remained silent. Former Liberal senator Helen Coonan told Sky News that the fact that MPs are not speaking out suggests a close vote.

“Careers die on nights like this,” she said.

No minister has come out publicly in favour of Turnbull.

Sunday Telegraph political editor Samantha Maiden has the challenger 10 votes in front.

The punters have made their prediction, putting their money on Turnbull.

Here’s who we know has chosen a side publicly at this point.

TURNBULL

Definite

    Party elder senator Arthur Sinodinos: “We need a change in the style and substance of leadership”
    Backbencher and parliament’s youngest MP, Wyatt Roy.

Possible

    Foreign minister Julie Bishop – she approached the PM about holding a leadership spill, and thus would be unlikely to survive as deputy PM.
    Education minister Christopher Pyne
    Attorney-general George Brandis
    Mal Brough walked into the party room with Turnbull at 9.11pm

ABBOTT

Definite

    Treasurer Joe Hockey: “the PM has my absolute loyalty”
    Immigration minister Peter Dutton: “The prime minister deserves our support”.
    Assistant treasurer Mathias Cormann:”I strongly support Tony Abbott”.
    Social services minister Scott Morrison: “I am voting for Prime Minister Tony Abbott and will not be standing in any ballots”.
    Assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg: “I think he’s doing the things that Australia needs”.
    Government whip Andrew Nikolic
    Defence minister Kevin Andrews: “In the prime minister we have the best chance of winning the next election”.
    Deakin MP MichaelSukkar
    Senator Cory Bernardi

Possible

Senate leader Eric Abetz is holding a press conference at 7.25pm

CRITICAL BUT STILL SILENT

    Attorney-general George Brandis
    Justice minister Michael Keenan
    Health minister Sussan Ley
    Small business minister Bruce Billson
    Trade minister Andrew Robb
    Defence minister Stuart Robert
    Veteran’s affairs minister Michael Ronaldson
    Parliamentary secretary to the treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer

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