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‘Is it any wonder the party has a problem’: Tony Abbott ‘bamboozled’ by Jim Molan decision

Former prime minister Tony Abbott insists the government still has a shot at the federal election, despite Labor’s landslide victory in Victoria.

Despite federal ministers attempting to distance themselves from the state election, the disastrous result has spilled over into Canberra.

The latest Newspoll shows Labor holding a 10-point lead over the Coalition after preferences.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott tells Ray Hadley he’s far from giving up.

“I think we go into the election pretty competitive, notwithstanding some disappointing polls.”

The Liberals may have put themselves in an even worse position, effectively dumping popular Senator Jim Molan by listing him third on the NSW Senate ticket.

Mr Abbott says he’s “a little bit bamboozled” at how a successful Senator could be passed over, blaming factional leader Alex Hawke for the decision.

“When you’ve got people of this calibre putting up their hand for pre-selection and they’re being knocked off in factional power plays, is it any wonder that the party has a problem?

“We want the best possible team on the paddock to play in the Grand Final,” the Member for Warringah says.

“Knocking off Jim Molan is not the way to get the best possible team on the paddock.”

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