SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared the leadership of the government vacant on Tuesday, a spokesman said, setting up a challenge to his position after weeks of speculation and falling opinion poll numbers.

"The prime minister declared the position is vacant," a spokesman for Turnbull said by telephone. "Now there's a call for nominations."

Sky News said Turnbull will stand for the leadership again and would be challenged by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait)

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