Anti-LGBT Former Oz PM Tony Abbott Loses MP Seat

Balgowlah Heights School in Sydney's north where the altercation took place

Balgowlah Heights Public School where the altercation took place. Source Google MapsMore

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has lost his northern beaches seat of Warringah to independent Zali Steggall.

"It's disappointing for us here in Warringah but what matters is what's best for the country", Abbott told the Australian Associated Press (AAP). "And I decided back then in October previous year, that if I had to lose, so be it", he said, adding, "I'd rather be a loser than a quitter".

Abbott lost to the independent candidate and former Olympian Zali Steggall, with the two-party-preferred count showing she was likely to win nearly 60% of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.

But Mr Abbott found a silver lining in his concession speech, claiming his party would win the Federal Election.

"He has won nine elections here over the last 25 years".

Climate change featured prominently in the campaign.

While Abbott also attempted to use YouTube, his fascination in one clip of a roadside library (free, covered book boxes, created to pass on "good reads") simply suggested he was out-of-touch with what was going on in his electorate, and built upon the picture of a politician out of step with his voters - as had previously been seen in the same sex marriage plebiscite and on climate change.

Steggall's campaign was supported by a number of grassroots group which had formed out of disillusion with the Liberal party's policy on climate change.

"Coming back to the issue of climate change, he is a denier personified and out of step with his electorate", she said.

But amid a groundswell of activism on climate change among his affluent beachside electorate and a strong challenge from independent candidate and former Olympian Zali Steggall, Abbott was unable to hold on.

She also thanked her more than 1400 volunteers and her family.

The conservative politician had safely held the seat since 1994, serving in numerous ministries under John Howard, as leader of the opposition and was the 28th Prime Minister of Australia for two years. This has included defacing of posters, personal abuse at both candidates, opposing campaigners dogging other candidates as they meet and greet, and particularly of the Abbott campaign, the use of media surrogates to promote an anti-Steggall message.

On election night 2019, as Australia voted to return the Liberal-National Party government of Scott Morrison, one seat defied the trend - Warringah. He went on to lead the Coalition to victory in the 2013 election.

Anyway, say what you will about Tony Abbott, but he was definitely Prime Minister for a while there.

Abbott appeared to leave open the door for a possible comeback, saying "his public life was not over".

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