Abbott jostled by protesters in Sydney

12:59pm September 7, 2013
September 07, 2013: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was forced to abandon an appearance at a polling place in the Sydney suburb of Arncliffe, when loud protests heckled the would-be PM over his asylum seeker policy.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has been jostled by angry protesters at a school in southern Sydney, forcing him to cut short plans to campaign at the polling booth.

The opposition leader was surrounded by people screaming "You're not welcome Tony", and "Go away Tony" at Arncliffe's Athelstane Public School as an attempt to target the safe Labor seat of Barton backfired.

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Mr Abbott could barely move in the crush, and after five minutes had to be ushered back into his car.

The protesters were a mix of Labor supporters, refugee advocates, and backers of independent candidate Michael Nagi.

September 07, 2013: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott joins the TODAY Show on election day from the Freshwater Surf Life Club on Sydney's northern beaches.

Neither was it all smooth sailing during his earlier trip to vote in Freshwater.

"F*** Tony Abbott. F*** that s***," said one women, as she passed media waiting for him to vote.

Another woman held up a sign "TONY ABBOTT, SEXIST, RACIST, BIGOT".

"Don't go there, Australia," she repeatedly screamed out.

"This is the 21st century, not the 1950s."

Even so, there was plenty of support for the opposition leader on a glorious Saturday spring morning at the Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club.

September 07, 2013: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joins the TODAY Show on election day to discuss whether he can pull off another stunner election win.

Wife Margie and daughters Bridget, Frances and Louise joined him in the heart of his electorate on Sydney's northern beaches.

"Good luck Tony," voters called out as the MP for Warringah mingled and posed for photographs.

After meeting Mr Abbott, 66-year-old Audrey Pattison described the opposition leader as a "lovely man".

Will he be a good prime minister? "Absolutely. He's such a nice man."

Mr Abbott then handed out how-to-vote cards at Maroubra Junction Public School for a last-minute boost for the Liberals' Kingsford Smith candidate Michael Feneley.

The coalition is hoping to snatch the once safe Labor seat vacated by Peter Garrett in southeast Sydney.

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"It's a beautiful day for a spring clean," one Liberal volunteer told him.

"Absolutely," the opposition leader agreed. "For a clean out of our parliament."

There too Mr Abbott was heckled by protesters, who chanted: "Stop the cuts. Stop the cuts."

Tony Abbott is heckled by protesters as he visits a polling booth at Arncliffe in  Sydney's southwest. (Getty)
Tony Abbott is heckled by protesters as he visits a polling booth at Arncliffe in Sydney's southwest. (Getty)
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