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Former Turnbull staffer to challenge Abbott

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A former adviser to ex-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will run against his nemesis Tony Abbott in the upcoming federal election.

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Alice Thompson today confirmed her candidacy as an independent for the Sydney seat of Warringah.

“I’m not just doing this to stop Tony’s mission to be leader of the Liberals and prime minister,” Thompson tweeted.

“I’m running because I have good ideas for Warringah and the nation and a track record of getting things done in government for the public interest.”

Thompson says Sydney’s northern beaches has missed out on infrastructure funding despite its population growth, and has vowed to put a spotlight on the electorate.

“I’ve seen first hand how capable independents deliver for communities in safe seats and unblock reforms,” she said.

“I know how to do this and will get Warringah’s fair share of attention.”

Abbott holds the seat, which has voted conservative since 1922, with a margin of about 15 per cent.

Indigenous broadcaster and mental health educator Susan Moylan-Coombs has already put her hand up for Warringah, inspired by the success of independent Kerryn Phelps, who won Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth from the Liberals.

On Monday, Abbott cautioned voters against casting their ballots for independent or Greens candidates, saying this could potentially undermine “serious government”.

“If you want a credible parliament, if you want serious government, don’t vote independent,” Abbott told Sydney radio 2GB.

“It is better to vote for the Labor Party than to vote for an independent.”

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison doesn’t think Australians should vote for either independents or Labor.

“That’s my view. That’s my very strong view,” Morrison told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.

“Because neither of them can deliver a stronger economy. Neither of them can provide what Australians need.”

– with AAP

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