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Why Tony Abbott will win Warringah

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30.01.2019

On federal election night the eyes of the nation’s political junkies will be on Tony Abbott’s seat. Around 90,000 will vote in Warringah but there is a universe of difference between Abbott losing by a vote and winning by a vote.

If Abbott loses his seat it will be an inglorious end to a former prime minister’s career. The cliches will be endless. “He was a great opposition leader but a terrible prime minister", "he should have resigned from parliament in 2015" and "he’s too right wing for a fiscally conservative but socially liberal seat".

If Tony Abbott holds his seat a second tilt at leader is not out of the question.Credit:Christopher Pearce

Two prime ministers have previously lost their seats. Stanley Bruce was prime minister for most of the 1920s but in 1929 James Scullin led federal Labor to its first win since 1914. In the process Bruce lost his seat but Scullin’s government was more chaotic than Whitlam’s. It was also a one-term wonder when the conservatives storm back to power in 1931 with the biggest two-party prefered win in history (58.5 per cent). Bruce was re-elected. Soon after he became High Commissioner in London and was in the running to retake the prime ministership in 1939 when Joe Lyons........

© The Age