Tony Abbott urged to dump Joe Hockey, call election
CABINET ministers say Prime Minister Tony Abbott is being urged to dump Joe Hockey as Treasurer if the Canning byelection goes badly for the Liberal Party.
And an early federal election, to be held in March 2016, is also being considered at the highest levels of the Abbott government.
Fairfax Media has been told by two cabinet ministers that talks over axing Mr Hockey have been held, with a move to sacrifice the Treasurer designed to shore up Mr Abbott's own leadership and quell a potential backlash after the September 19 poll.
Do you think Joe Hockey should remain as Treasurer?
This poll ended on 09 September 2015.
Yes. He's doing a solid job
No. He's out of touch
Malcolm Turnbull would be better
Scott Morrison should be put in
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, who is widely considered to be one of the government's star performers, would likely be elevated to the Treasury post and Mr Hockey would be offered another portfolio.
The Liberal Party holds the seat of Canning with a margin of 11.8 per cent, but recent polling in the seat shows it is now on a knife edge, with swings to Labor of as much as 10 per cent forecast.