Former prime minister Tony Abbott has lashed out at the “low and vicious behaviour” of his opponents after one of his campaign volunteers was allegedly stabbed on Friday night.

Police said a man began abusing a group of the Warringah MP’s volunteers outside Balgowlah Heights Public School on Sydney’s northern beaches about 8pm.

“(The offender) allegedly threatened an 18-year-old man before he thrust a corkscrew at the stomach of a 31-year-old man, causing a minor injury,” New South Wales Police said in a statement.

“He then started ripping down the banners that had been erected, before fleeing the scene.”

The stabbing victim was treated at the scene by paramedics but was not taken to hospital.

The stabbing victim did not receive serious injuries and returned to his post a short time later. Photo: Steve Hart/Twitter

A 62-year-old man has been charged with two counts of common assault.

Mr Abbott is fighting to hold onto his long-held seat in the face of an intense campaign by Independent candidate and former Olympian Zali Steggall.

He told reporters this year’s federal election campaign had been “very ugly”, with a “lot of low blows”.

Ms Steggall said the incident was “appalling” and does not believe the offender was linked to her campaign.

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