FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was left teetering on the brink of a minority government Tuesday when a prominent lawmaker quit to form a new conservative party, more bad news as Turnbull's popularity ratings plumb new lows.The defection of Senator Cory Bernardi to form the Australian Conservatives, seven months after Turnbull's Liberal-National coalition claimed an unconvincing election victory, further weakens the center-right government's hopes of pressing ahead with its legislative agenda.Turnbull won a razor-thin majority at last July's election and faces having to cobble together a minority government if Bernardi is able to entice just a single lawmaker from the lower house of parliament to join his new party.Bernardi said he had not yet approached any coalition members and offered only limited support for Turnbull's legislative agenda in the upper house Senate, where the government is already in the minority.
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