Malcolm Turnbull to be sworn in as PM after ousting Tony Abbott

Malcolm Turnbull will be sworn in as Australia's 29th prime minister today after a political coup saw him reclaim the Liberal Party leadership from Tony Abbott.

Mr Turnbull won a party room ballot 54 votes to 44 last night, less than six hours after announcing he would challenge Mr Abbott.

The ballot also saw Julie Bishop elected as deputy leader over Kevin Andrews 70 votes to 30 — keeping the position she has held since 2007.

Mr Turnbull, who will now become Australia's fourth prime minister in two years, spoke to reporters outside his apartment this morning.

"It was a long night, and it's going to be a big day today," he said.

"This is a turn of events I did not expect, I have to tell you, but it's one that I'm privileged to undertake, and one that I'm certainly up to.

"This is a great time to seize the day. I'm filled with optimism and ... in the weeks ahead and the months ahead we'll be setting out more of those foundations."

Last night he said he would run a "thoroughly Liberal government", flagging a strong focus on the economy.

"We need to have in this country, and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face, that describes the way in which we can handle those challenges, seize those opportunities, and does so in a manner that the Australian people understand so that we are seeking to persuade rather than seeking to lecture," he said.

"It will be a thoroughly Liberal government committed to freedom, the individual and the market.

"It will be focused on ensuring that in the years ahead, as the world becomes more and more competitive and greater opportunities arise, we are able to take advantage of that.

"The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.

"We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility and change, is our friend ... if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it."