Tony Abbott is adamant he’ll remain in politics, saying he’s the only Liberal Party preselection nominee for his Sydney seat of Warringah.
The former prime minister holds no fear of a factional move against him, despite suggestions moderates could try to dislodge the outspoken conservative from his northern beaches electorate.
“Whatever occasional frustrations I might have with things in Canberra, the current government is in office because I led them there in 2013 and I think people are conscious of that,” Mr Abbott told Sky News on Wednesday.
After beating Mr Abbott in a leadership spill in 2015, Malcolm Turnbull led the coalition to a narrow election victory in 2016.
Mr Abbott believes public life is his calling, describing his role as a vocation rather than a job.
“As far as I’m concerned I’ve still got a bit of public life left in me,” he said.
“I’m fit, I’m strong, I’m a lot younger than a lot of other leaders around the place and I think I’ve got a lot to contribute still.”
Mr Abbott took the Liberal leadership from Mr Turnbull while in opposition in 2009 before having the tables turned on him in government six years later.
“When I was the leader I certainly extended a certain amount of latitude to my predecessor and so far he’s been good enough to do likewise,” the former prime minister said.
He said he was the sole nominee for Warringah when preselection closed.