Tony Abbott vows to fight against the impending leadership challenge from within his own ranks

His supporters describe the political chaos as a 'circus' and 'horror movie'

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Australia's beleaguered Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to fight against calls for a leadership ballot when his party meets to vote on it next week.

The challenge could see Mr Abbott replaced by the current communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who lost out to the PM in a similar battle for leadership by just one vote in 2009, when the Liberals were the opposition party.

Mr Abbott said he will urge party members to reject the motion when they meet to vote on the challenge on Tuesday.

He said Australians voted out the centre-left Labor Party government in 2013 because it changed its prime minister twice in four years, in a series of leadership challenges.

He will be joined by his foreign minister, Julie Bishop, in challenging the motion.

Mr Abbott said: "They are perfectly entitled to call for this, but the next point to make is that they are asking the party room to vote out the people that the electorate voted in in September 2013."

"We are not the Labor Party and we are not going to repeat the chaos and the instability of the Labor years," he added.

Halfway through its first three-year term, appearances of a united conservative government have been shattered in recent weeks as big swings towards the Labor Party in Victoria and Queensland have sparked Liberal in-fighting.

The unrest within the ruling Liberal Party ranks came to a head when Mr Abbott was roundly criticised for the bizarre move of making Prince Philip an Australian knight on Australia's national day last month.

This prompted criticism from colleagues and on social media, with many questioning whether Mr Abbott had confused Australia Day with April Fool’s.

A Liberal lawmaker Luke Simpkins sent an email to his colleagues planning to put forward a motion at a party meeting Tuesday calling for Abbott to declare that his job, and that of his deputy Julie Bishop, are open to a ballot of 102 government lawmakers.

Fellow lawmaker Don Randal agreed to second the motion.

However not everyone agrees that the leadership challenge should take place.

Trade minister Andrew Robb said: "It's totally unnecessary and it will make us look a bit of a circus, frankly."

"We saw, from the Labor Party when they were in Government, it turn out like a very bad horror movie," assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

"I just don't want to buy another ticket to such a horror movie."

Additional reporting by AP

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