Tony Abbott has gone on the attack against "self serving" leakers after revelations Malcolm Turnbull had to be drafted in to save his political hide.
"The sneaky and underhand business of leaking needs to stop," the former prime minister told Nine Network on Thursday.
"It is absolutely corrosive of trust."
Internal Liberal party polling of 400 Warringah voters ahead of the 2016 federal election showed Mr Abbott could lose to Labor, The Australian Financial Review reported.
Mr Abbott confirmed polling had been conducted, but only three people knew about it.
"The polling in question was very, very closely held. I had it, (former party director) Tony Nutt had it. The prime minister had it," he said.
"I'm just very disappointed that someone has chosen to put it out there for self-serving reasons."
According to the AFR, Mr Turnbull had to personally intervene to support Mr Abbott by voicing robocalls and featuring in a mailout to voters.
The polling implied Labor was on track to potentially take 57 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in Warringah, against 43 per cent for Mr Abbott.
Mr Abbott ended up holding the seat with a two-party vote of 61.2 per cent.
The swing against him was 4.23 per cent.
Mr Turnbull later told reporters he didn't know who leaked the polling.
"These things are always regrettable," he told reporters in Launceston.
The prime minister conceded there were a few regrets about the election result, but the government was getting on with its job.
"I'll certainly make some enquiries but I'm focused on delivering for the people of Australia," he said.
Meanwhile, a coalition backbencher Trevor Evans says he supports Mr Abbott publicly speaking out, despite fears the former prime minister's incendiary comments are jeopardising the Turnbull government.
Mr Evans said Mr Abbott was free to express his views "just like any member of the government".