ABBOTT: Campaign should focus more on security

FORMER prime minister Tony Abbott has hit out at his party for not making national security a bigger campaign issue.

In an interview on Sky News, Mr Abbott said the Coalition campaign should have been more focused on the "big issues", including national and border security.

Mr Abbott also rejected Malcolm Turnbull's support for a conscience vote in parliament on same-sex marriage if a plebiscite supported the proposal.

He said Coalition policy was against marriage equality, and a conscience vote should not be allowed, but the public would feel "ripped off" if politicians voted against holding the plebiscite.

Labor leader Bill Shorten, who has promised a direct vote in parliament on marriage equality, is predicting "civil war" within the Liberal Party over the plebiscite legislation.

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