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Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony (Anthony John Abbott), 1957–, Australian political leader, b. London, England. His family moved to Australia in 1960. Educated at the Univ. of Sydney and, as a Rhodes scholar, at Queens College, Oxford, Abbott worked as a journalist for the Bulletin news magazine and the Australian newspaper before heading (1993–94) Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, which opposed Australia's becoming a republic. A member of the Liberal party, he was first elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1994. He served as secretary to the minister for employment (1996–98), then as minister for employment (1998–2003) and minister for health and aging (2003–7). Abbott became leader of the Liberal party in 2009 and, after the Liberal-National coalition won the 2013 elections, succeeded Labor's Kevin Rudd as prime minister. Abbott's increasing unpopularity, due to blunders and several policy decisions, led Malcolm Turnbull to successfully challenge him for the Liberal leadership and prime ministership in 2015.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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