James Mathison to run as independent against Tony Abbott

Wake Up - Tarsh, Tony Abbott, James

TV presenter James Mathison has declared himself an independent candidate for the Federal Election in Tony Abbott’s safe seat of Warringah.

Mathison, best known as presenter on Australian Idol and Wake Up, will take on the former Prime Minister who sits comfortably with a 15.4% margin. He recently appeared on Celebrity Apprentice.

Deciding to run only two weeks ago, he is opposed to Abbott’s “divisive” stance on marriage equality, refugees and climate change. Mathison plans to fund his run through a Pozible campaign and draw upon social media, releasing his policy platform through video messages.

In 2014, Tony Abbott was interviewed by Mathison on TEN’s now-defunct Wake-Up in which he questioned a lack of transparency and accountability surrounding detention centres.

You can read more on his policies at the Daily Telegraph.

He told TV Tonight, while he didn’t agree with the government’s position on Gay Marriage and Asylum Seekers it didn’t stop them from having a robust and respectful conversation.

“We wanted it to reflect the programme as well which was topical issues, big questions but at the same time there’s a kindness and a light-heartedness to it. That’s been the whole theme for the show and I think that interview reflected that.”


  1. David, I seem to recall Mathison commenting on the asylum seeker issue on Idol at one point. I remember it being awkward. Is there any way you can search your archives from back then? Or have any idea if I’m misremembering?

    • I only remember his questions on Wake-Up, perhaps because I discussed them with him in an interview. Otherwise you would need to Search using key words. The archives here are massive so the more precise you are the better.

  2. Can’t wait for the next new show…. Celebrity Politician. 12 celebrity’s go head to head to secure a seat in Parliament. Each week we get to vote one out though challenges. Hey l might be onto something here.

  3. The shows that have relied on this talent generally haven’t last too long and neither will his political career. He’ll generate some noise because his causes and the fact that he is running against abbott will create some headlines and noise so abbott will need to be on his toes.

      • As I said, shows that relied on his talent (although it came through as this). Idol was mostly about the performers and judges, not the hosts. His role was pretty limited in terms of air time.

  4. I still reckon Tony Abbott will hold onto his seat, James Mathison doesn’t stand a chance against our former PM. What James Mathison’s views are in that small minority group. He might as well run in the Senate

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