Australians are divided on whether Tony Abbott should retire from politics, a national poll has suggested.
Forty-six per cent of those surveyed want the former prime minister to stay in Parliament, while 45 per cent want him to retire before the next election, the Newspoll published exclusively in The Australian found.
The poll surveyed 1837 voters between January 28 and 31. Not surprisingly, those who claimed to vote for the Coalition supported Abbott the most, with only 30 per cent of this group calling for him to quit politics.
Most Labor (59 per cent) and Greens (74 per cent) voters wanted the ex-PM to resign at the election.
Mr Abbott has served as the member for Warringah for 22 years, and recently said he would stand again for preselection in 2016.
The poll came after the former PM sparked controversy by speaking to an anti-gay, anti-abortion Christian lobby group in the US, where he also reportedly met with US president Barack Obama.
Apart from brief stints as a journalist, Roman Catholic priest-in-training and concrete plant manager, Mr Abbott has worked his entire career in politics as both an advisor and elected representative.
The same Newspoll suggested that voters do not want an early election. The vast majority (71 per cent) want the Coalition to serve its full term and go to the polls later in 2016.
Turnbull’s government also maintained its two-party preferred lead over Labor, 53 to 47 per cent, The Australian reported.