By political reporter Anna Henderson
Toppled prime minister Tony Abbott appears to be extending the self-imposed deadline he put in place to decide on his political future.
Soon after his ousting, Mr Abbott said he would consider his future options after Christmas.
Today Mr Abbott told Sky News he won’t “rush into a final decision”.
He said there was a groundswell of support for him to stay on.
“I’ve had literally thousands and thousands of messages of support and encouragement since mid-September,” Mr Abbott said.
“I’ve had a lot of people talk to me as I get around the electorate and still to some extent around the country and the message that I’m getting from them, overwhelmingly, is that I still have a contribution to make to our public life.”
The ABC understands no pre-selection date has been settled for Mr Abbott’s Sydney seat of Warringah.
Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne said the former prime minister can still play a role.
“He has a great contribution to make to public life, whether that is in Parliament or whether that is as an activist for his own particular political causes outside the Parliament,” Mr Pyne said.
“He’s one of the smartest people and best educated people that has led the nation and he will always make a great contribution to Australian political life.”