Malcolm Turnbull ousted Brendan Nelson as Liberal leader in 2008, before being pipped at the post by Mr Abbott himself.
But he exacted revenge on Monday evening, edging Mr Abbott in a close vote for the Liberal Party leadership.
And it wasn’t the first time the 60-year-old challenged for the role.
After the Coalition lost to Labor under Kevin Rudd in 2007, Mr Turnbull nominated for the top job, only to lose to Mr Nelson by just three votes.
He went on to spend nearly a year as the Shadow Treasurer, before he latched on to the leadership by just four votes in September 2008.
The latest challenge was also not the former journalist, merchant banker and lawyer’s first duel with Mr Abbott – who himself won the leadership in 2009 through a campaign against Mr Turnbull’s support for the Rudd government’s proposed emissions trading scheme.
It was a tight ballot – Mr Turnbull lost the top job by just one vote.
One constant throughout the Liberal turmoil was deputy leader Julie Bishop, who served under both Mr Nelson and Mr Turnbull before continuing with Mr Abbott.
Mr Turnbull entered politics in 2004, and was appointed parliamentary secretary for water under John Howard in January 2006, before he was promoted to minister for environment and water in 2007.
Despite announcing he would not re-contest Wentworth in April 2010 – a seat he had held for six years – “considerable” encouragement from constituents and colleagues saw him back-track.
Most recently he served as Communications Minister under Mr Abbott, before becoming the leader of the Liberal Party on Monday.
Mr Turnbull will become the nation’s new Prime Minister when he is sworn in.
– with AAP