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'I'd Rather Be A Loser Than A Quitter': Tony Abbott Concedes Warringah

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has conceded his seat of Warringah to independent candidate Zali Steggal.

Abbott, who has held the blue ribbon seat for the past 25 years, addressed his party faithful on Saturday night less than three hours after polls closed across the state.

Abbott began his speech by removing the podium from the stage, to cheers and applause from the crowd.

He said while there was some bad news in the election, the good news was that the Coalition had every chance of winning the election.

READ MORE: Tony Abbott Has Spectacularly Lost Warringah

"This is a really extraordinary result, it is a stupendous result, it is a great result for Scott Morrison and the rest of the wider Liberal team."

The former PM said it was a disappointing result for his own electorate of Warringah.

"What matters is what's best for the country."

Abbott admitted he always knew his campaign to be re-elected into the seat for a ninth consecutive term would be tough after the Wentworth by-election last year.

"I'd rather be a loser than a quitter," he told his supporters.

He congratulated his opponent Zali Steggall, but the moment was marred by boos by his supporters.

Abbott attempted to quieten the crowd and said it was clear there "was something of a realignment of politics going on right around this country".

He also addressed the elephant in the room: climate change.

"Where climate change is a moral issue, we Liberals do it tough," he said.

He wrapped up his speech saying he would not let one bad day spoil 25 "great years".

"Obviously, there are some things that, with the wisdom of hindsight, might have been done differently and better," Abbott said.

"But I've gotta say that I can look back on the last 25 years -- and I do look back on the last 25 years -- with immense pride and satisfaction."

Independent candidate Zali Steggall made her own victory speech shortly afer Abbott's concession, to chants of "Zali" echoing around her party room.

Steggall said that her win was a show that when a community wanted change they could achieve it.

"Tonight, Warringah has definitely voted for the future," she said.

"This is a win for moderates with a heart."

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She paid tribute to Tony Abbott and said nobody could doubt his commitment and contribution to the community over the last 25 years.

She also addressed the issue of climate change in her victory speech, saying Warringah would now welcome in a "new beginning for our environment."

"I will be a climate leader for you, and I will keep the new government to account and make sure we take action on climate change.

She ended her speech by saying the campaign had been a testament to grassroots campaigns in the country.

"There is no such thing as a safe seat in Australia."

Featured Image: AAP.