on air now

‘There’s obviously a lot of payback going on’: Big Guns on Abbott’s heated preselection battle

The results of the Warringah pre-selection vote have been released, following speculation Tony Abbott experienced a major hit to his support.

It was initially reported that only around 50 per cent of local members backed the former prime minister.

Mr Abbott disputed the figures, insisting he had secured around 70 per cent of the vote.

The official results have been released by The Australian, revealing 68 votes went in Mr Abbott’s favour.

When asked whether the Member for Warringah has experienced a “scare”, Andrew Bolt tells Ben Fordham the whole issue has been “beaten up”.

“If Tony Abbott can survive this, and he has, then the next pre-selection – should he stand again – should be easier.”

It was reported the pre-selection battle got heated on Friday night, with the former PM experiencing heckling during the meeting.

“There’s obviously a lot of payback going on from frustrated Turnbull supporters,” Andrew says.

Graham Richardson tells Ben it’s his understanding that it was a minister’s staffer who was the “leading heckler”.

“You just don’t do that. You’ve got to have at least some sort of show at unity,” he says.

“What it shows is the bitterness in the Liberal party is a long way from dissipating. It’s still there, it’s not far below the surface, and it’s not going away.”

Click PLAY below for the Big Guns segment