They’re creepy and they’re kooky, the Abbott Family
Photo courtesy The Daily Telegraph
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's wife Margie has praised her husband as a good man with a great heart, and says she wants all Australians to know it.
"He hasn't let us down and he won't let you down," Mrs Abbott told a business lunch in western Sydney today.
Mrs Abbott's "debut speech" as the alternative prime minister's wife was part of a charm offensive sparked by opinion polls which persistently show Mr Abbott's popularity with women at low levels.
Mrs Abbott appeared with her husband and daughter Frances on the front page of News Ltd newspapers this morning.
It was followed by a rare interview on morning television, where Mr Abbott said he “really did fall in love with Downton Abbey” after his wife suggested he preferred watching the period drama to the football.
Mrs Abbott said the couple's three daughters had been kept away from politics while they were growing up but at the last election they had wanted to support their father.
"So we all got involved, rolled up our sleeves," she said.
"It was a real family effort and we want to do it again this time.
"We want to do so because Tony is a good man with a great heart - and we want all Australians to know that."
In today’s speech, Mrs Abbott said her only problem with her husband was that he was too competitive.
Two years ago they had decided to get a joint Christmas present that would help them spend more time together, and she came up with the idea of kayaks.
But she quickly decided that one kayak was better than two.
"Two kayaks meant that it would always end up in a race rather than a time to talk and share a romantic moment.
"So a single kayak was purchased, and when we can we paddle together without the hint of competition."
But it’s his competition with another woman that’s causing him difficulties at the moment.
Newspoll breakdowns released today show that his approval rating with women is steadily falling, and stands at 27% for the last quarter, compared to 32% for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Among men, Mr Abbott led Ms Gillard 34% to 27%.
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