Former defence minister Brendan Nelson has been elected the new leader of the Liberal Party.
Former treasurer Peter Costello has announced that Nelson won the vote for the Liberal leadership in a 45 to 42 vote over Malcolm Turnbull.
Former education minister and Western Australian MP Julie Bishop has being elected deputy Liberal leader.
Costello described the party room meeting as “warm”.
Although Nelson did not have the profile of the more flamboyant Turnbull, he is renowned for the work he has put in building relationships and support with Liberal backbenchers in recent years.
Nelson is on the record as saying that, while aspects of WorkChoices should be abandoned, the Liberal Party should continue to support the abolition of unfair dismissal laws for small business.