|Born||4 November 1957 London|
|Religious affiliation||Roman Catholic|
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|28th Prime Minister of Australia|
|From||18 September, 2013|
|Leader of the Liberal Party|
|From||1 December, 2089|
Abbott studied for the priesthood, but withdrew to become a journalist. His Catholicism has been a target of his left-wing critics—who branded him the "mad monk"—although he has not strictly followed Catholicism, including making his then girlfriend pregnant in about 1977. As Health Minister in the Howard government, however, he refused to allow the abortion drug RU486 to be made available in Australia.
As leader of the opposition prior to the 2013 federal election, Abbott was the butt of vilification from members and supporters of the Labor Party, from the then Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) down. Gillard infamously attacked him as a misogynist, contrary to the fact that he included women in important roles in his life.
Resurrection of the Liberal Party
When the Howard government was defeated in 2007, the liberal party ran almost no government in the country, and commentators painted a bleak picture of its future. In 2009 the Liberal Party was being led by Malcolm Turnbull, whose position on various issues seemed very much in line with those of the Labor Party, to the point that left-leaning journalists saw him as the saviour of the Liberal Party, although it continued to languish in the polls. In particular was Turnbull's support of a proposed emissions trading scheme. Abbott resigned as a shadow minister in protest at Turnbull's stance, leading others to follow suit. A leadership spill followed soon after, and Abbott was narrowly elected as the new leader of the Liberal Party.
Many journalists decried the change as a major blow to the Liberal Party, and Abbott was described as "unelectable", but with Abbott as leader, the party's popularity grew, so that by the time of the 2013 election, the Liberal Party soundly defeated the Labor Party.