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Tony Abbott: ‘I never turned the polls into the ultimate test of leadership’

Tony Abbott has thrown down the gauntlet to Malcolm Turnbull as the Prime Minister edges closer to 30 straight Newspoll losses.

Today’s loss is Mr Turnbull’s 28th in a row and has also seen his lead as preferred PM evaporate.

The PM started the year with a 45% to 31% lead over Bill Shorten… that’s down to just two points.

In 2015, Mr Turnbull used Newspoll results as a key factor in overthrowing Tony Abbott saying:

“The one thing that is clear about our current situation is the trajectory. We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott’s leadership.”

As the mark creeps closer, Ray asks the former PM what should happen when it arrives.

“I never made the polls the be all and the end all. I never turned the poll into the ultimate test of leadership. It was someone else who did that.

“It was the Prime Minister who set this test and I guess if he fails the test it will be the Prime Minister who will have to explain why the test was right for one and not right for the other.

“It will be up to him to tell us all why the test doesn’t apply in his case.”

Mr Abbott also commented on the Barnaby Joyce love-child scandal.

“Barnaby has certainly had a pretty messy time of things.”

Ray, “Please tell me that your jaw dropped as you either read or were told what he was saying in Fairfax newspapers on the weekend?”

“I think that was a pretty common reaction and I shared the common reaction.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview