Buck stops with me, says Turnbull

Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer
AAP
Remember we won the election: PM

Malcolm Turnbull has declared the "buck stops with the boss" when it comes to last year's narrowest of wins in the federal election.

The prime minister and senior party leadership received the report of a review of the Liberals' federal election campaign at a meeting in Sydney on Friday.

The review, led by former minister Andrew Robb, is understood to have examined the Liberals' performance from the start of the Abbott government in 2013.

The controversial and poorly received 2014 budget, a series of policy missteps by Tony Abbott and 30 consecutive bad Newspolls for the government led to Mr Turnbull seizing the leadership in September 2015.

Mr Turnbull's elevation delivered an initial sugar hit for the Liberals, but the polls tightened as voters feared the government was losing direction.

The prime minister said that as leader he took "total responsibility" for the double-dissolution election result in July 2016, which delivered a one-seat majority for the coalition and a difficult Senate.

"Obviously lots of decisions are taken in an election campaign by lots of people," Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Friday.

"But the buck stops with the boss. So I am responsible for the election campaign. I'm responsible for the conduct of it. I'm responsible for the victory."

Mr Abbott's former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, said there was "catastrophic failure" across the board.

"I think there's a lot of blame that can be shared around," she told Sky News.

Ms Credlin said she had been briefed by people who had seen the report's executive summary.

"I am told ... there were big issues with superannuation (policy), lack of resourcing and old-fashioned campaigning," she said.

She said as an observer she had noticed "a lack of ticker from the PM".

"Finishing at lunchtime, not enough marginal seat visits, running away from doing street walks in Penrith, all of those things contributed to a result that the government is lucky to hang on to power," Ms Credlin said.

Mr Turnbull did not blame Liberal campaign director Tony Nutt, who tendered his resignation on Wednesday night to allow the party to chart a new path towards the next election, which is due as early as August 2018.

"Tony Nutt is one of the greatest political professionals of our time," Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull, who chipped in $1.75 million out of his own pocket to keep the Liberal campaign afloat, said the party was outspent by Labor, the unions and activist group GetUp! by four to one.

Mr Robb said the review pointed to the need for the party machine to ensure it was focused from day one on winning the next election.

"The day after an election, the next campaign starts," Mr Robb said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said it had been a "long and challenging" election and there were lessons to be learned.

However, he said "making the economy as strong and successful as possible" should remain the coalition's central message to voters, while attacking Labor's economic credibility.