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Abbott survives spill motion

Tony Abbott has survived as Liberal leader, avoiding a spill motion in a party room meeting today.

Sixty-one MPs voted against spilling the leadership, to 39 in favour.

There was one informal vote and one absentee due to paternal leave.

LISTEN: Neil Mitchell’s analysis

But Mr Abbott’s hold on the Liberal leadership is far from concrete.

The Prime Minister headed into today’s party room meeting with his government’s popularity at its lowest ebb.

A Newspoll survey showed that Labor leads the Coalition 43-57 on a two-party preferred basis, the worst result since 2009.

Interesting response to our #instantpoll: Will Tony Abbott be PM tomorrow? 52% of respondents say yes. ? 3AW Breakfast (@RossAndJohn) February 8, 2015

NEIL MITCHELL NOW " "I think Tony Abbott is finished – if it’s not today I think it will be soon." pic.twitter.com/ImmYGcC8hh ? 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693)February 8, 2015

After the vote, Mr Abbott released message in which he urged colleagues to move past the "disunity" and said "I love this country and will do my best to help our country succeed.

He revealed a new manta: "Jobs, families, ecomony and security".

Neil Mitchell, who noted a "change of tone" from the Prime Minister, suggested Mr Abbott should forget slogans.

LISTEN: Do you notice a change of Tone like Neil? (pun intended)

Most pundits suspected Mr Abbott had the numbers today to avoid a spill.

But Fairfax political reporter Mark Kenny told 3AW Breakfast that a large vote for a spill will still undermine Mr Abbott.

"I think anything above 25 or 30 votes is a very damning reflection of the Prime Minister’s (leadership)," he said before the vote.

LISTEN: Mark Kenny with Ross and John

Tony Abbott’s Liberal leadership came to a head on Friday when Western Australian MP Luke Simpkins announced he would be formally requesting a leadership spill when parliament.

Simpkins, who will be backed by fellow WA MP Don Randall, will challenge both the Prime Minister’s position, as well as Julie Bishop’s role as deputy.

Malcolm Turnbull is considered the three biggest threat to Mr Abb

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