Tony Abbott has urged the electorate to vote Labor rather than independents while lashing out at Rob Oakeshott as a “serial candidate and serial collector of taxpayer-funded money”.
The former prime minister attacked Mr Oakeshott, saying his only contribution during his previous term in Parliament was to help Julia Gillard form government.
Mr Abbott was talking about Mr Oakeshott’s decision to again contest the New South Wales mid-north coast seat of Cowper.
“If you want a credible parliament, if you want a serious government, don’t vote independent,” Mr Abbott told 2GB.
“Better to vote for the Labor Party than to vote for an independent.
“Because for all Labor’s faults, they are a party of government or potential government, and that means there’s a level of responsibility which Labor has to take while independents nor minor parties do.”
Mr Abbott said Mr Oakeshott contests elections because “he likes the publicity”, and knows it won’t cost him anything because he’ll be reimbursed by taxpayers for the number of votes he wins.
Mr Oakeshott and then independent colleague Tony Windsor guaranteed Ms Gillard supply and confidence in Parliament, ensuring she was able to form government after the 2010 election.
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