There were reports Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was gauging support for a leadership challenge against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
However, the ABC reports these claims have been denied by a spokesperson for the Liberal frontbencher.
While Turnbull had made and received calls from colleagues, his office said he had not attempted to secure numbers in light of a possible spill.
Earlier today, ABC journalist Julia Baird tweeted that two federal Liberal MPs had confirmed Turnbull phoned them to see if they would back him in a spill.
BREAKING: Two federal Liberal MPs have just confirmed to me that Malcolm Turnbull has called to ask if they will vote for him as leader.
— Julia Baird (@bairdjulia) February 4, 2015
Tony Abbott’s leadership has been in doubt over the past few days with backbenchers calling for his dismissal and the looming prospect the PM could face a ballot on his leadership as soon as next week.
Abbott said on radio this morning that he understood some of his backbenchers might be “intimidated” about raising their concerns with him.
Earlier today, former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett labelled Abbott’s leadership as “terminal”, calling for his eviction “as quickly as possible”.
“Cabinet ministers have been ringing me and telling me things are just untenable,” one MP told News Corp Tuesday.
Yesterday, Abbott’s deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop assured the PM she would not challenge his role.
Following the wipeout for the LNP in the Queensland election on Saturday and confusion over CLP leadership in the Northern Territory, the Liberal party at a federal level is seeing its political life flashing before it.
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