The Courier-Mail

Prime Minister refuses to make drastic changes despite looming electoral defeat

- STEVEN SCOTT

TONY Abbott has ruled out making drastic changes to put his Government back on track despite polls showing he is headed for defeat.

But the Prime Minister (pictured) has left open the possibilit­y of a Cabinet reshuffle before the end of the year.

As he marked two years in office yesterday, Mr Abbott insisted his agenda was working.

“The plan is working and we are sticking to it,” Mr Abbott said.

“I am very confident that people will be choosing between a government which has delivered on its commitment­s and an opposition which hasn’t learned and can’t change.”

MPs have returned to Canberra faced with another Newspoll showing Labor could win an election by 54 per cent to 46 per cent after preference­s are distribute­d. Nervous Liberal and National MPs have warned the Government needs a circuit breaker to regain political momentum.

Some hope an expected Lib- eral win in the September 19 by-election in the Perth seat of Canning will provide a boost to Mr Abbott.

But others fear Mr Abbott’s authority could be diminished even if the Liberals retain Canning but suffer a large swing in the once-safe seat that was vacated after MP Don Randall died.

Mr Abbott yesterday left open the possibilit­y of another reshuffle but said he did not want to change his most senior ministers, including Treasurer Joe Hockey, who has faced a whisper campaign among disgruntle­d Liberals. Mr Hockey dismissed the talk as “gossip”.

“I’m focused on doing the job that a Treasurer should do, which is laying down the foundation­s for more growth in the Australian economy and greater opportunit­ies for Australian­s to get ahead and get a job,” he said.

THE PLAN IS WORKING AND WE ARE STICKING TO IT

PM Tony Abbott

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