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In 2003, Abbott became Minister for Health and Ageing, retaining this position until the defeat of the Howard Government at the 2007 election.Initially serving in the Shadow Cabinets of Brendan Nelson and then Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott resigned from the front bench in November 2009, in protest against Turnbull's support for the Rudd Government's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).Nevertheless, Abbott then clarified that he has never voted for Labor in a federal election.Abbott won Liberal preselection for the federal Division of Warringah by-election in March 1994 following the resignation of Michael Mac Kellar.This made him eligible for election to the Australian federal parliament.Following negotiations, Labor formed a Government with the support of one Greens MP and three independent MPs. He went on to lead the Coalition to victory at the 2013 election and was sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on 18 September 2013.According to biographer Michael Duffy, Abbott's involvement with ACM "strengthened his relationship with John Howard, who in 1994 suggested he seek pre-selection for a by-election in the seat of Warringah".Despite his conservative leanings, Abbott acknowledged he voted for Labor in the 1988 NSW state election as he thought "Barrie Unsworth was the best deal Premier that New South Wales had ever had".

Prior to entering Parliament, Abbott took the degrees of Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, then attended The Queen's College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar, graduating as a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After graduating from Oxford, Abbott trained as a Roman Catholic seminarian, and later worked as a journalist, a manager, and a political adviser.

eventually working out that, I'm afraid, I just didn't have what it took to be an effective priest." Throughout his time as a student and seminarian, he was writing articles for newspapers and magazines—first for Honi Soit (the University of Sydney student newspaper) and later The Catholic Weekly and national publications such as The Bulletin.

He eventually became a journalist and wrote for The Australian.

Abbott lost a Liberal Party leadership spill on 14 September 2015, and was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the party and Prime Minister of Australia.

While deciding his future career path, Abbott developed friendships with senior figures in the New South Wales Labor Party, and was encouraged by Bob Carr, as well as Johno Johnson, to join the Labor Party and run for office.

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