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Biography Tony Abbott

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Tony Abbott Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott
The Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the Liberal Party of Australia.


Tony Abbott Biography



Anthony John "Tony" Abbott (born 4 November 1957) is the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian House of Representatives and federal leader of the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia. Abbott has represented the seat of Warringah since the 1994 by-election.


Prior to entering the Australian Parliament, Abbott studied for a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney and for a Master of Arts as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen's College, Oxford. He later trained as a Roman Catholic seminarian and worked as a journalist, business manager, political advisor and Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.


Abbott served in the Howard Government as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs from 1996–1998 and Minister for Employment Services from 1998–2001. He joined the Howard Cabinet in 2001 as Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. Following the 2001 Election, he took on the additional roles of Leader of the House of Representatives and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service. In 2003 he became Minister for Health and Ageing, retaining this position and his role as Leader of the House until the defeat of the Howard government at the 2007 federal election.


Following the 2007 election he was appointed to Brendan Nelson's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and the Voluntary Sector. He resigned from this position in Malcolm Turnbull's shadow cabinet on 26 November 2009 in protest against Liberal Party support for the Rudd Government's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Following a spill motion, Abbott defeated Turnbull 42 votes to 41 in a party leadership ballot, becoming Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition.


Abbott led the Liberal-National Opposition to the 2010 federal election, which resulted in a hung parliament. The incumbent Labor government led by Julia Gillard, formed a minority government after gaining the support of an Australian Greens MP and three independent MPs. This was a first in post-war Australia where government is formed by "the political party or coalition of parties which has won a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives". The said "coalition of parties" rule had applied frequently via Liberal-National co-operation commonly called The Coalition rather than a "minority" government.


Abbott was re-elected unopposed to the party leadership following the election.



September 16, 2010

updated: 2013-07-26

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