Australian Election 2016 – The Return Of Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Posted on Wed 06/22/2016 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

(Former) Prime Minister Tony Abbott lost his leadership in part by pushing too hard on unpopular measures he thought necessary – especially spending cuts and needed welfare reforms such as Medicare co-payments.

Since then, I suspect more Australians are softening to Abbott, recognising in him at least a man who stood for something.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The warmth he’s been getting on the campaign trail has been interesting, if largely unremarked. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Koziol, no supporter, was onto this early:

The former prime minister was mobbed by supporters, young and old, as he and other Pollie Pedallers downshifted gears into [Orange’s] Robertson Park on Thursday afternoon…

Whether in a small town or large, the reception has been warm and welcoming – the former PM says that’s exactly what he’s used to out on the hustings…

Another town, another band of admirers – and another mini book launch. Mayor of Forbes Phyllis Miller got her copy of Battlelines – as did the kids of Forbes North Public School…. School co-captain Angus Turner … was excited to see Mr Abbott…

But this might be the most powerful – and most grudging – acknowledgement of Abbott’s slow rehabilitation, if only among the base at this stage:

Malcolm Turnbull will formally launch the Liberal Party election campaign in the inner-western Sydney seat of Reid, with his two predecessors, John Howard and Tony Abbott, front and centre to appeal to the “new Liberal heartland”…

The Prime Minister’s launch on Sunday will come just six days ­before polling day on July 2 and will be aimed at cementing key marginal seats in Sydney’s west as well as directing the debate back to economic management.

Like Bill Shorten’s Labor launch last Sunday in Penrith, in Sydney’s west, former prime ministers will feature heavily in the hope of stirring the party faithful’s enthusiasm and helping regain momentum in the final days of the campaign.

Tony Abbott is my guest on The Bolt Report tonight – 7pm on Sky News Live.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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