A key supporter of Tony Abbott has dismissed suggestions the former prime minister’s decision to re-contest the next election will destabilise the government.
Abbott confirmed he intends to re-contest his seat of Warringah, in Sydney’s north, at the next election as a Liberal MP.
“After leaving the prime ministership, I said that I would spend some time talking to family, trusted colleagues and local Liberals about my future. I have been heartened by the support and encouragement I’ve received to continue to serve the country as a member of parliament,” Mr Abbott wrote on his website.
“Therefore, I am renominating to represent the people of Warringah for another term as their Liberal MP."
Former employment minister, Eric Abetz, said Abbott, 58, had many "good years of service" left in him, and said comparisons to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should not be drawn.
Rudd was demoted from the prime ministership by his party in 2009, recontested his seat and briefly became prime minister again before he lost an election in late 2013.
"Tony Abbott is absolutely no Kevin Rudd and therefore, I believe those sorts of analogies are not appropriate in any way, shape or form," he told ABC radio.
"Kevin Rudd was always about one thing only: Kevin Rudd. Whereas Tony Abbott has always been about one thing, namely the Australian people."
Abetz said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will welcome the decision for Abbott to stay on because there us a need for the conservative view to be heard in the Liberal party.
“Tony Abbott is a great advocate for that view — a view one suspects is held by a vast majority of the Liberal Party membership, and a lot of the electorate at large,” Abetz said.
Labor said Mr Abbott's announcement demonstrated the Liberal Party was "totally obsessed with itself".
"As hard as Malcolm Turnbull tries to get rid of Tony Abbott, he just can't. He's worse than the Terminator, he just keeps coming back," a spokesman for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told Fairfax.
Manly mayor Jean Hay said locals will be happy Mr Abbott is re-contesting the seat of Warringah.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to has said well, you know, he’s done a wonderful job for 22 years and they’re quite happy for him to serve another term,” she told the ABC.
Mr Abbott’s future was uncertain after he was deposed by Malcolm Turnbull following a leadership spill last September.
He took a position on the backbench following his deposition, and flagged some interest in continuing in politics, saying he still had a contribution to make to public life.
In December, he told members of his local Forestville branch that he wanted to stay in politics.
In the statement made on his website, Mr Abbott has flagged a commitment to ensuring better transport links between his electorate and the Sydney CBD.
He said he looks forward to working with New South Wales Premier Mike Baird, should he be re-elected.
“Should I be renominated and elected, I am looking forward to working with Premier Mike Baird to ensure that the Warringah Peninsula gets better transport links to the rest of Sydney,” the statement says.
“It has been a great honour to serve the people of Warringah for 22 years and I hope to retain their trust and confidence.”