29 Sep 2015

Abbott says he would have won election

6:55 pm on 29 September 2015

Ousted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is confident he would have led his Liberal party to victory, if not replaced by Malcolm Turnbull.

Tony Abbott speaks at a press conference today in Canberra.

Tony Abbott (pictured) lost his position to Malcolm Turnbull after a party room ballot earlier this month. Photo: AAP

Mr Abbott was unseated by Prime Minister Turnbull after losing a party room ballot by 54 votes to 44.

During his first radio interview after being overthrown, Mr Abbott said he could have pulled off a come-from-behind win like the UK's Cameron government.

He said lagging polls did not always translate to ineffective government.

"You can be not especially popular in these personal approval ratings and at the same time lead a very effective political operation," Mr Abbott told 2GB radio in Sydney.

"It's difficult to do the right thing by the country when you have 'death by polls'."

Mr Abbott urged Canberra to stop the leadership revolving door, saying politicians who were watching their backs were going backwards.

He said no policy had changed since the change of leadership two weeks ago.

"If you listen to the prime minister and treasurer they are even using exactly the same phrases Joe Hockey and I were using a fortnight ago," Mr Abbott said.

He did not reveal his plans for the future, but said he would decide around Christmas time.

"I'm too young to retire, I've still got something to contribute to public life," Mr Abbott said.

- BBC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs