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Underestimate Tony Abbott at your peril - the man knows how to win

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In the government's dark days following its near-death experience at the 2016 election, Christopher Pyne deployed his trademark flair to declare the Coalition an "election-winning machine".

The proclamation fast became something of a joke but those three words perfectly describe the track record of the Liberal Party's most polarising figure: Tony Abbott.

A 25-year political veteran, Abbott has fought and won nine elections in his blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Warringah - a byelection in 1994 and general elections in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. He fought and won a ballot to become opposition leader in 2009, fought and nearly toppled Julia Gillard at the 2010 election, and was swept into The Lodge in a landslide in 2013. The only election the 61-year-old has ever truly lost was the 2015 leadership spill that ended his prime ministership.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott is facing a fight in Warringah but enters the contest ahead. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Underestimate Abbott at your peril. The man knows how to win and enters the 2019 race for Warringah ahead courtesy of what should be an impenetrable 11.1 per cent........

© Canberra Times