Abbott bows out as Warringah ‘votes for future’
THE woman who defeated Tony Abbott in Warringah says her grassroots movement has proven there’s “no such thing as a safe seat in Australia”.
Zali Steggall, an Olympic skier turned barrister, defeated the former prime minister in the northern beaches Sydney seat in a result that Labor labelled a “slaughter”.
“This is a win for moderates with a heart,” Ms Steggall said during her victory speech.
“Tonight Warringah has definitely voted for the future.”
Ms Steggall vowed to be a “climate leader” who would hold the government to account when it came to tackling global warming.
“I will push for real action, so our children and generations to come can enjoy the environment and our beautiful beaches, and our beautiful country, the way we enjoy it,” she said.
Ms Steggall paid tribute to Mr Abbott as a dedicated and long-serving member saying “I wish him well”. She concluded: “We have shown what a grassroots movement can do. There is no such thing as a safe seat.”
With just over 50 per cent of the ballots counted at 9.30pm, Ms Steggall had 59 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, compared with Mr Abbott on 41 per cent. Mr Abbott said he was “disappointed” to have lost his seat.
“It’s disappointing for us here in Warringah but what matters is what’s best for the country,” Mr Abbott said when conceding.
“I’d rather be a loser than a quitter.”
He later told Sky News: “At least I didn’t lose the seat as PM.”
His former deputy, Julie Bishop, described the result as “sad” but noted the former PM didn’t match up with his constituents on climate change and same-sex marriage.
“The Liberal Party will have to reassess its position on climate change,” she told Nine News.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, flanked by his wife Jenny Morrison and daughters Lily Morrison and
Independent candidate Zali Steggall last night