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Turnbull’s demise to blame for preselection backlash, Tony Abbott says

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Former prime minister Tony Abbott says reports of his political demise have been exaggerated after he won preselection for the seat of Warringah on Friday night.

It was initially reported that Mr Abbott only secured around 50 per cent of the vote, a claim that was disproved when the true results came to light.

Mr Abbott won nearly 70 per cent of the vote, but the meeting did have its heated moments, with some unhappy about Malcolm Turnbull’s recent demise.

The Member for Warringah admits it wasn’t smooth sailing on Friday night, but tells Ben Fordham “reports of my political death are greatly exaggerated”.

“I am very much politically alive and kicking and expect to be alive and well for a very long time to come.

“It was probably inevitable that there was going to be a bit of turbulence in the wake of the former Prime Minister’s demise.

“I’ve got left-wing branches in my conference, I’ve got conservative branches in my conference.

“Some of the more progressive branches, as you can imagine, were particularly committed to the former prime minister and they were disappointed that he was no longer there.

“I guess what happened on Friday was an understandable enough reaction to that.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Mr Abbott says anyone who wants to see the “best possible government” in Australia needs to put last month’s leadership challenge in the past.

“I think that the Liberal party and the government is in much better shape than it was three or four weeks ago.”

He says all Liberals should be supporting eachother, not “backgrounding and leaking”.