FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been quietly sowing the seeds for a potential comeback, hinting to allies in the UK that he believes he can again lead the country.
Fairfax is quoting unnamed sources "close to Mr Abbott", who say he felt he had a "good chance" of returning to the job because he was popular with Liberal Party members when compared to current PM Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Abbott has taken to Twitter to deny the report, saying the reports were "unsourced, unattributed and unprofessional".
As for unsourced, unattributed, unprofessional reports, the journalist in question is yet again making things up.— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) October 4, 2016
One of the sources quoted by Fairfax suggested Mr Abbott was waiting on the NSW State Council of the Liberal Party on October 22 to capitalise on his popularity with the rank and file members of the Liberal Party.
At the conference, plans are afoot to push for a democratic reform of the party -- not unlike those Kevin Rudd made to Labor -- that would mean members are given more say on who leads the party.
Given the Liberal Party membership skews right-wing, such a change could prove a golden opportunity for Mr Abbott.
Abbott responds after refusing to deny earlier. And of course I absolutely stand by my story and sources. https://t.co/DNuQRY0Vl5— Latika M Bourke (@latikambourke) October 4, 2016
Mr Abbott was dumped as leader in September 2015 after a leadership spill was launched by Malcolm Turnbull.
Since then, the traditionally popular Mr Turnbull has watched his public support slide to a point where he is now on par with his predecessor.
Mr Abbott's unpopularity with voters was given as a key reason for him being removed as leader.