Malcolm Turnbull to become Australia's 29th Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull's leadership challenge has paid off
Malcolm Turnbull.

Malcolm Turnbull.

Malcolm Turnbull is set to become Australia's 29th Prime Minister after winning a Liberal leadership spill securing 54 votes to Tony Abbott's 44.

Julie Bishop won the post as Liberal Deputy Leader over Kevin Andrews after counting 70 votes to 30 votes.

A leadership ballot took place on September 14 at Parliament House in Canberra, after Turnbull resigned from his position as Communications Minister and aired his intentions to challenge Abbott's leadership.

Turnbull said the burden of leadership was a heavy one and thanked Abbott for his formidable leadership.

The Prime Minister-designate will be meeting with his colleagues on September 15 and there will be inevitably be ministerial changes. He will be the fourth different Australian Prime Minister in five years, and the fifth overall.

"This has been a very important, sobering experience today," he said. "I'm very humbled by the great honour and responsibility that has been given to me."

Former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, congratulated Turnbull on Twitter, saying it's a great honour and responsibility.

Turnbull previously heavily criticised Abbott stating he has not been capable of providing the economic leadership and confidence that the nation needs.

"This is not a decision that anyone could take lightly. I have consulted with many, many colleagues; many Australians; many of our supporters, in every walk of life. And this course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time" Turnbull said in a statement.

"It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers, ultimately the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs; he has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.

"We need advocacy, not slogans, we need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people."

In 2009, Turnbull held the top post as Opposition leader before being toppled by Abbott by a single vote.