Tony Abbott Has Spectacularly Lost Warringah
Zali Steggall has unseated former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Warringah, ending his 25-year reign as the local MP.
Independent MP Steggall won the seat, spelling the end of a long-running Liberal reign, after what was one of the fiercest battles in the federal election.
Steggall quickly shot out to a lead in the early counting beginning at 6pm, and by 7.30pm, experts had already written him off. By 7.45pm, Steggall was far ahead, leading Abbott on a two-party vote by 60-40.
She was well ahead on primary votes alone.
On 10's Your Vote coverage, Abbott's former colleague Christopher Pyne conceded early that he had "more than likely" lost Warringah. The retiring MP said Abbott's primary vote was simply too low to make up the gap.
Former Labor senator Sam Dastyari called it even earlier, saying early there was "no path" for Abbott to win.
10 News First's Catalina Florez reported a Liberal member described as "dire" the atmosphere inside Abbott's election party.
The battle for Warringah -- one of Sydney's most affluent areas-- was widely considered the one to watch throughout the campaign. But it was marred in recent final weeks with 'dirty' tactics including offensive posters, videos, and even an alleged corkscrew attack on a volunteer on the eve of the election.
The Warringah electorate became the biggest focus of lobby group Advance Australia, billed as the "conservative GetUp".
One of the group's strategies was 'Captain GetUp', a parody superhero character they used in an attempt to draw links between Steggall and the progressive campaigning group.
Abbott has served as the local member for Warringah for more than two decades since he was first elected in a 1994 by-election.
He would later be re-elected by voters eight times, convincingly holding the seat, election after election.
READ MORE: Will Tony Abbott Get The Chop In Warringah?
But when Stegall, a former world champion skier, announced she would officially contest Abbott's seat as an Independent back in January -- the mood for change became swift.
While polls have consistently shown Warringah voters believe in climate change and wanted action, Abbott had on occasions described it as “absolute crap”, pushing for the construction of state-funded coal-fired power stations after almost singlehandedly tearing down the Emissions Trading Scheme.
Abbott served as Prime Minister between 2013-2015 after leading the Coalition to victory against the Rudd-led Labor government.
During his time as PM Abbott faced a series of controversies starting from his first budget delivered in 2014, which was slammed as cruel and unfair on taxpayers.
He also fiercely positioned himself against changes to marriage laws throughout his prime ministership and would later abstain from voting in the same-sex marriage bill in 2017 -- despite 75 percent of residents in his electorate voting 'Yes'.
With the end of the blue-seat era now confirmed in Warringah, it is not yet clear whether this will also spell the end for Abbott's political career.
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