Tony Abbott with Gary Humphries.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott with Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop and ACT Senator Gary Humphries. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Gary Humphries is lapping up the public support given him by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in the already bitter battle for the Liberal Party's ACT senate preselection.

While contender Zed Seselja was flogging his wares to the media Tuesday morning, Senator Humphries was sidling up to Mr Abbott during a church service to mark the start the parliamentary year.

Following Mr Seselja's declaration on Monday that he wanted Senator Humphries' job and had nominated for the top spot on the Liberals' ACT senate ticket, Mr Abbott offered a statement of support for the incumbent.

Senator Humphries was making the most of his leader's vote of confidence during the St Andrews church service in Canberra – and was making sure he was seen being very cosy with Mr Abbott and Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop.

Mr Seselja can only hope to enjoy such open displays of support from Mr Abbott if he wins the preselection contest.