Australia

Warringah debate: Abbott rival Steggall confirms she would back Coalition in hung parliament

Warringah candidates Zali Steggall and Tony Abbott shake hands ahead of their debate at Queenscliff Surf Club. Source: AAP

The independent candidate taking on Tony Abbott in the Sydney seat of Warringah says she'd back a minority Liberal-National government in a hung parliament.

High-profile independent candidate Zali Steggall says she'd support a coalition government in the case of a hung parliament.

Labor continues to lead the coalition in published opinion polls but the gap has narrowed over the campaign to 51-49 in two-party terms.

Warringah Tony Abbott with Independent candidate Zali Steggall at a previous tourism forum.
Warringah Tony Abbott with Independent candidate Zali Steggall at a previous tourism forum.
AAP

Asked during a Sky News debate on Thursday about a possible minority government after the election, Ms Steggall - who is taking on former prime minister Tony Abbott in his Sydney of Warringah - said her "preference" was to give supply and confidence to the coalition.

However, she disagreed with the coalition's climate policy and would not support Labor's tax reforms, including changes to franking credits.

She said Labor's 45 per cent emissions reduction target was the "very minimum" needed.

Zali Steggall says she'd support a coalition government in the case of a hung parliament.
Zali Steggall says she'd support a coalition government in the case of a hung parliament.
AAP

Mr Abbott described the election as "very close" and warned a protest vote in Warringah would deliver a Labor government.

He rejected Ms Steggall's idea of an independent climate commission as sub-contracting decision-making to "unelected bureaucrats".

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