Abbott imagines first morning as PM

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is daring to imagine his first morning as prime minister.


Mr Abbott told Melbourne radio station 3AW that victory was far from assured but that he still knows what his schedule will look like if he wins.

“If we win the election, I will probably go for an early morning bike ride with the guys I’ve been riding with for years for an hour or so,” Mr Abbott said on Friday.

“Then it will be basically into the office.”

Mr Abbott said that he wouldn’t hold daily media conferences as prime minister unless they were necessary and says he hopes to take politics off the front pages.

“It should be on the front page when significant things are happening but I don’t think we should be obsessive about politics,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott said, if elected, he would take advice from his staff, his cabinet and perhaps former coalition prime minister John Howard, whose morning exercise regime he would hope to emulate.

But he added that he isn’t taking anything for granted just yet.

“It’s like being in a grand final, five minutes to go, only a goal or two in it, anything could happen,” he said.

Mr Abbott did admit that his side was probably a goal or two in front.

“I think we are but we’ve got all these spectators running interference, you might say, these minor parties and independents trying to invade the pitch and muck up the way the game concludes,” he said.

Mr Abbott wouldn’t say whether he had prayed for victory on Saturday.

“He has his own plans,” he laughed.

“There are some things which we might have to leave shrouded in mystery.”

Mr Abbott later compared the transition from opposition leader to prime minister as a step up from tribal elder.

“The big difference between a prime minister and an opposition leader is that an opposition leader is inevitably the leader of a tribe, a prime minister has to be the leader of a nation,” Mr Abbott told reporters on Friday.

“I think I understand that.”

He said Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have not possessed the same understanding, but tipped his hat to former prime ministers, Liberal John Howard and Labor’s Bob Hawke.

“A successful national leader understands that you’ve got to be a leader for everyone, even the people who don’t necessarily support you, even the people who won’t ever vote for you, you’ve got to treat them with respect,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Howard said Mr Abbott will face a difficult transition to the role of prime minister, but has the experience, intelligence and sense of humour to do the job well.