In 2009, Turnbull, then leader of the Liberal Party in opposition, crossed the floor to vote with the Labor government in favor of an Emissions Trading Scheme, a move that ultimately lost him the party leadership.
While several backers of Mr Dutton have admitted to a "wait and see approach", nine cabinet ministers were ready to get behind the Home Affairs Minister - half of cabinet's 18 Liberals, The Australian reported.
Supporters of Mr Dutton believe the required 43 votes need to topple Mr Turnbull can be found, however the prime minister appears to still believe he has the numbers.
But Turnbull ousted Abbott as prime minister in 2015 in a leadership ballot of government lawmakers concerned by the government's poor opinion polling.
Malcolm Turnbull's lead as preferred Prime Minster has plummeted by 9 points to 48%.
"It is always orderly in our party room", Marino said.
But according to the prime minister, Mr Dutton has his back.
Mr Dutton faced questions about his eligibility to sit in Federal Parliament last night after reports emerged that he had an interest in two childcare centres in Brisbane through the RHT Family Trust, both of which receive a direct subsidy from the Government.
Earlier Mr Abbott said it was not a personality contest.
Adding fuel to the fire, Mr Abbott reportedly told a meeting of Tasmanian Young Liberals at the weekend he looked forward to "a Dutton government".
However, he declined to elaborate on the comment when quizzed by reporters yesterday and Ms Bishop later said she understood he had not said it.
Dutton put his hand up to challenge Turnbull for the top job after the PM's risky move to take control of the party.
Even former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, a staunch critic of Mr Turnbull's direction on energy prices, has been in his corner.
A Fairfax-Ipsos poll published on Monday showed 55 per cent of voters surveyed supported Labor and only 45 per cent supported the government.
"Mr Turnbull is truly a white flag prime minister", Mr Shorten said.