Lanai Scarr National Political Reporter
The Daily Telegraph
TONY Abbott is confident he would have won the next election had he been left as Prime Minister.
The dumped PM, who lost his job to Malcolm Turnbull in a coup two weeks ago, this morning dismissed negative opinion polls and said he had never done well in public opinion polls.
“I am confident that if I had continued at head of this government that’s what we would have had (a victory),” Mr Abbott told 2GB’s Ray Hadley.
“If you look at my polling I’ve always done badly in the polls.
“You can be not popular in the ratings and at the same time lead a very effective opposition and government.”
Mr Abbott said internal party polling in the lead up to the Canning by-election showed the Liberal party would have won 57 per cent of the vote which is about what the final result was on the day.
He said the timing of the leadership spill was carefully coordinated to ensure a challenge was successful.
Turnbull wins Liberal leadership
“Because a strong result in Canning would have put paid to this notion that somehow I wouldn’t survive the next election,” Mr Abbott said.
He said he was doing OK after losing the nation’s top job, however was still not yet ready to make a decision on his future.
“57-years-old is still young,” he said of his age.
“I’m not ready to retire and I still have a lot to contribute to public life.”
Mr Abbott also lamented that he never watched his back while Prime Minister which may have led to his demise.
“I never believed in watching my own back,” Mr Abbott said in his first public interview since being rolled.
“Any leader who is watching his back is not focusing on the main job at hand. If the leader ever starts to play internal politics than the leader is in trouble.
“I always knew that politics was a brutal bruising business. It is a game of snakes and ladders and I’ve got a snake at the moment.”
Mr Abbott urged voters to stick with the Coalition at the next election and Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.
“I can appreciate there are a lot of people out there who are dismayed by what has happened,” he said.
“But it would be even worse if we end up with the sixth prime minister in six years.”
Mr Abbott also denied that he ever thought about cutting loose former Treasurer Joe Hockey and his chief-of-staff Peta Credlin in order to placate any push for a change of leader.
“The idea that those people hungry for advancement would be mollified by if Joe went or my chief-of-staff is just wrong,” he said.
“They were not going to be put off if they were thrown a few human sacrifices and it is wrong to feed this beast.
“Joe and I were blood brothers when it comes to economic policy. The idea that I would have sacrificed Joe to save myself is just dead wrong.”
Mr Abbott also refused to weigh in on if he felt betrayed by his former deputy Julie Bishop and close ally Scott Morrison.
“I’d rather focus on the good work that they did,” he said.
“In the end all of us have got to answer to God and our consciousnesses and I am not going to get into who should have said what.”
On Scott Morrison in particular, Mr Abbott said: “At some point in time I’m sure we’ll have a conversation and we will resolve these things.”
Mr Abbott also urged politicians to stop the revolving door of prime ministers for the sake of the nation.
“This is a real problem for our country. The government can’t do what is necessary if you are subject to death by polls,” he said.
“We’ve had five prime ministers in five years. We are worse than Italy and only just better than Greece.
“For a country that has always had stable and effective government this is hardly the face we want to put to the world.”
Malcolm Turnbull acted when he did because he knew Canning by-election would strengthen Tony Abbott
The Daily Telegraph
September 29 2015.
FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Malcolm Turnbull executed him the week before the Canning by-election because he was on track for a strong result at the Canning ballot box.
In a 30 minute interview with Radio 2GB host Ray Hadley, aired live on television, Mr Abbott said his executioners were aware internal polling in Canning showed the government was on track for 57 per cent of the vote.
“One of the reasons why the ballot had to be brought on the week it was brought on by the proponents of a ballot was because a strong result in Canning, which is what we were going to get, would have put
paid to this notion that somehow I was unelectable because of the polls,’’ he said.