On Monday we reported some of Tony Abbott’s rumoured post-Parliament job offers, but today we hear from a well-connected tipster that the former PM has no intention of going anywhere.

Says our informant: “Latest I hear is that Abbott wants to stay in Parliament waiting for the right to call him back [to the leadership]. Delusional.”

The tip-off lines up neatly with Eric Abetz’s latest desperate cri de coeur, published in the Burnie Advocate last night.

Dubbing himself the “informal leader of the conservatives in the Liberal Party,” the dumped leader of the Senate urges Tony Abbott to stay on in Parliament to provide focus and support to the party’s hard right wingers, “who see him as being an opinion and thought leader”.

Abbott and his supporters are obviously using the Rudd return as their model, hoping they can do one better than Kev and come back and win the election. Great plan, save for one inconvenient fact: Rudd never lost the support of the people, merely of the factions.

Abbott, meanwhile, was never liked by the public, barely tolerated by his party, and loathed by large sections of both after the 2014 budget. Turnbull was brought in largely to solve problems of popularity, not of administration and government — though there were those, too. As a politician, Abbott has less shelf life than a ham roll at Aussie’s cafe.

But it sounds to us like Abetz and others are having trouble letting go. Do we hear the rumbles of a campaign to bring Tony back? Watch this space.

Peter Fray

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