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Prime Minister Tony Abbott (2013 – 2015 )

Tony Abbott became Australia’s 28th Prime Minister after winning the federal election on September 7, 2013.

The election was Abbott’s second as leader of the Liberal Party. Elected in December 2009 when Kevin Rudd was prime minister, Abbott saw Rudd deposed by his deputy, Julia Gillard, in June 2010. At the federal election on August 21, 2010, the voters delivered a hung parliament. Julia Gillard retained government with the support of Greens and independents. Abbott faced Rudd in the 2013 election, after Gillard was deposed in June.


The Abbott government assumed office on September 18, 2013, following the decisive victory of the Liberal-Nationals Coalition. The Coalition won 17 seats off the ALP and two more from independents, although it lost one seat to Clive Palmer and another to an independent. The Abbott government has 90 seats in the House of Representatives and a majority of 29 on the floor.

The government’s ministry consisted of 19 members of Cabinet, 11 members of the Outer Ministry and 12 parliamentary secretaries.

Disquiet over Prime Minister Abbott’s leadership led to an attempt to bring on a Liberal Party leadership spill on February 9, 2015. The move was defeated by 61 votes to 39.

On September 14, 2015, the Communications Minister and former Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull, resigned from Abbott’s ministry and launched a challenge to Abbott’s leadership. Turnbull was elected leader later that night, defeating Abbott by 54 votes to 44. Turnbull was sworn in as prime minister the next day.

Abbott returned to the backbench and announced that he would decide his political future around Christmas 2015.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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