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Prime Minister Abbott addresses media on talk of a spill

Prime Minister Tony Abbott fields questions outside St Marks Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney NSW Feb. 1. 2015, after commenting on the LNP's election defeat in Queensland.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott fields questions outside St Marks Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney NSW Feb. 1. 2015, after commenting on the LNP's election defeat in Queensland. AAP IMAGE - AVA BENNY-MORRISON

TONY Abbott can see the vultures circling, still not quite full after the catastrophic feast that followed the LNP's failed election campaign in Queensland.

Addressing the media today, Mr Abbott acknowledged there were lessons to be learned from Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's disastrous bid for re-election.

But he was adamant the thrashing in Queensland did not mean the Federal Coalition's days were numbered.

"In the end, the voters of Australia are pretty smart. They judge the state elections on state issues, and they judge federal elections on federal issues," he said.

"I am determined to ensure that Australia does not join the 'weak government club' of the world."

He may not have any say in the matter, with Coalition backbenchers reportedly calling for his scalp.

The latest Galaxy poll has Mr Abbott's approval rating at just 27%, and Labor leading his government on a two-party preferred basis by 57% to 43%.

When quizzed on reports he had lost the confidence of his party, and that Howard-era cabinet minister Mal Brough had been approached to make a leadership challenge, Mr Abbott dodged the question.

"Obviously, people are able to raise whatever subject they want with me, and that's what they do every day," he said.

"The important thing is not to navel-gaze... to not focus on ourselves.

"The important thing is to get on with the job of being a better government today than we were yesterday."

Mr Abbott admitted he had made mistakes - stopping short of acknowledging that knighting Prince Phillip might have been a bad idea - but said he was confident the Coalition still had victory in its midst.

"I don't say for a second that we haven't made mistakes," he said. "I don't say for a second that we can't do things better.

"But I am not going to be distracted for a second from the essential task of giving this country the good government that it deserves."

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull told media at an Australian-US tourism event that Mr Abbott had "the support of all members of his government, including me".

Attorney-General George Brandis told Sky News yesterday the cabinet and party room were united behind Mr Abbott.

"We would be crazy to repeat the experience of the last Labor government, which failed because it tore down an elected leader," he said.

Topics:  election libspill spill tony abbott



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