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The person with the most to fear from the Liberal Party's Wentworth debacle is Tony Abbott

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Sydney's harbourside residents have taken to the Liberal Party with baseball bats - and they may not be finished.

The Wentworth smashing should send a shiver up Tony Abbott's spine in the neighbouring electorate of Warringah. Saturday's result proves blue-ribbon Liberal electorates will have no hesitation backing independents next year if they conclude the Coalition is still riven by leadership division and unwilling to take climate change seriously.

Tony Abbott says he is the party and public's best candidate for the Sydney seat of Warringah. Credit:Andrew Meares

Liberal volunteers were surprised by how many voters objected to the government's approach to the environment as they voted on Saturday. It was a crucial factor behind their horror performance, second only to anger from the ill-fated decision to tear down Malcolm Turnbull.

These are ominous signs for Abbott's future. The former prime minister played a key role in the demise of Turnbull, and has led the charge against any substantial policy to reduce Australia's emissions. Who can forget Abbott once said the science behind climate change was "absolute crap"?

Warringah sits across the other side of Sydney Harbour to Wentworth, but has some remarkably similar........

© The Age