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Tony Abbott sends the PM a strong message after disastrous by-elections

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government needs to change policies, following its disastrous showing at the weekend by-elections.

The Coalition was hoping to become the first government to win back a seat at a by-election in almost 100 years.

It had high hopes in the seats of Longman and Braddon but ended up going backwards, conceding ground to Labor.

The Opposition retained all four of its seats that were up for grabs.

Mr Abbott tells Ray Hadley the government’s policies are just as big an issue as the leader.

“One of the things you learn as leader over the years is don’t set yourself up to fail, don’t set tests for yourself that are going to be very hard to pass.

“I guess 30 Newspolls is another one.”

Mr Abbott says the Prime Minister must listen to these results and take action.

“When the voters send you a message, you’ve got to listen.

“I don’t want to change the leader, I want to change the policy.

“If you change the leader without changing the policy you just jump out of the frying pan, into the fire.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview