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Abbott to take methodically approach -

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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Tony Abbott is taking a methodical approach to the early days of his prime ministership as he waits for the future Senate to take shape.

He's indicated he won't resume Parliament until as late as November and faces an uphill battle to get his agenda passed until the middle of next year when new senators are sworn in.

Meanwhile, as we've heard, Labor in-fighting has already erupted as the vanquished party searches for a new leader.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: A word of warning for Prime Minister-elect Abbott from a beaten foe:

KELVIN THOMSON, LABOR MP: Don't try and swamp the airwaves, don't fall for the 24/7 media cycle.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Coalition leader's giving every indication of taking that advice, with just a brief picture opportunity for the cameras ...

TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER-ELECT: I don't think any opposition has been as well-prepared to become a government as we have been.

TOM IGGULDEN: ... and a couple of phone interviews on FM radio. Tony Abbott won't recall Parliament until October at the earliest.

TONY ABBOTT (on Radio 2UE): The last thing I want to do is to rush the Parliament back for a photo opportunity before the substance of the work is there for it to do.

CHRIS BOWEN, LABOR MP: I thought we had an emergency on our borders and a crisis in our budget and I thought there was gonna be emergency legislation brought in in days and there was gonna be trips to Indonesia. Apparently everything's not all that urgent.

TOM IGGULDEN: Part of the likely reason for the lack of urgency: until next July, a hostile Senate where the Greens and Labor can block Coalition legislation, including the repeal of the carbon tax.

CHRIS BOWEN: The Labor Party believes that climate change is real. The Labor Party believes that we need to do something about it. The Labor Party believes that a market mechanism is the best way to do that and we won't be walking away from those beliefs.

TOM IGGULDEN: Next year's new Senate is looking messy with a slew of micro and minor parties set to make their presence felt in Canberra. For many, policy platforms are ambiguous.

CLIVE PALMER, PALMER UNITED PARTY: Happiness. Love. Friendship. All those sort of things that make life worth living. A smile on a face of a child.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Palmer United Party's committed to repealing the carbon tax, but its leader is already signalling he'll be no pushover.

CLIVE PALMER: Well our policy is to repeal the carbon tax and to refund the money from the day it was introduced. The Coalition's policy, I understand it, is to repeal the tax but not to refund the amount of money raised by it.

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott says his future government's mandate will need to be respected by everyone in Parliament.

TONY ABBOTT (on Radio 2UE): Once you're in the Parliament, it's important then to earn the respect of your colleagues and let's see how every member of the Parliament does that.

TOM IGGULDEN: Respect among Labor colleagues is a continuing problem for that party, with Kevin Rudd still dividing opinion between those who think his return to the leadership kept Labor viable ...

CHRIS BOWEN: The Labor Party owes Kevin Rudd a debt of gratitude that he put his name forward and was available.

TOM IGGULDEN: ... and those who think he was the problem in the first place.

CRAIG EMERSON, RETIRING LABOR MP: The election was a disaster for Labor and Kevin Rudd's continuing presence in the parliamentary Labor Party will see him do what he has always done, and that is willingly, wilfully recklessly destabilise Labor leaders.

TOM IGGULDEN: But one key Rudd ally says he will stay.

KIM CARR, OUTGOING TRADE MINISTER: And he's made it very clear to me that his intention is to get on with the job of being the Member for Griffiths and get on with representing his electors.

CHRIS BOWEN: If he chose to stay in Parliament, I think he could continue to make a contribution, quite appropriately.

JOURNALIST: On the frontbench?

CHRIS BOWEN: That's entirely a matter for him and the new leader.

TOM IGGULDEN: Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten are frontrunners to become leader after a third potential candidate pulled out.

CHRIS BOWEN: I took the decision at this time that it was best that I not put my name forward.

TOM IGGULDEN: But recriminations in Labor haven't just been restricted to former caucus colleagues; there's also been finger-pointing among campaign strategists, blaming each other for the disastrous decision to use sexed-up Treasury numbers to attack Coalition policy costings.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.