Abbott and Howard chew the election fat

Tony Abbott is “getting the old team back together” as he fights to hold onto his seat of Warringah on Sydney’s northern beaches, recruiting Liberal Party elder John Howard to join him for a mall walk.

The former prime ministers met with locals and posed for selfies at Warringah Mall on Monday.

Mr Abbott stopped to buy two sirloin steaks from a butcher, telling reporters: “If you don’t have the fat, you don’t have the taste”.

Mr Abbott said Mr Howard was the campaign “maestro” and the greatest living Liberal.

“It’s just wonderful to have the old team back together,” he said.

Polling suggests Mr Abbott, who’s held Warringah comfortably for 25 years, is in danger of losing the seat on Saturday.

Socially progressive independent Zali Steggall has been chipping away at Mr Abbott’s primary vote while campaigning on climate change, transport and cost of living.

During the mall walk, Mr Howard described Mr Abbott as “a political realist”.

“He understands he has a fight,” Mr Howard said.

“This is going to be a tough election (but) I’m getting more confident as we get closer.”

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