A summary of yesterday’s events that didn’t get posted overnight due to internet trouble.
The election debate will be held from 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Sunday, an hour earlier and half an hour shorter than normal. The reason on both counts is to avoid a conflict with the final of MasterChef on Channel Ten. David Speers of SkyNews will moderate, and the leaders will face a panel consisting of Malcolm Farr from the Daily Telegraph, Chris Uhlmann of ABC News 24 and Laura Tingle of the Australian Financial Review.
Christian Kerr in The Australian reports the Liberal campaign headquarters that will belatedly commence operation today is believed to be at 90 Collins Street, Melbourne, but sources said the location was even being hidden from campaign workers who are expected to begin work there today.
Julia Gillard spent yesterday in the western Sydney and hinterland seats of Macquarie and Greenway. Matthew Franklin and Sarah Elks of The Australian note this is of a piece with an apparent campaign strategy to favour set-piece photo opportunities over less easily manageable appearance in public places. Tony Abbott on the other hand remained in Melbourne less than a target-rich environment as far as marginal seats are concerned which included a public appearance in marginal Labor Deakin. David Crowe of the Australian Financial Review made the following observation yesterday:
In a pre-emptive strike against Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Coalition has begun a below-the-radar campaign in regional Queensland to woo voters in key areas that could decide the federal election … Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey launched the effort late last week a move that focused on local media and local campaigns rather than participation in the blanket national media coverage of the election, when it was called on Saturday. The strategy ensured the Coalittion had senior figures campaigning in cities such as Townsville and the highly marginal seat of Herbert before Ms Gillard headed to the area yesterday (Monday) morning. Beginning last Wednesday, Mr Hockey travleled from Gladstone to Mackay, Townsville, Innisfail and Cairns over five days to campaign for Coalition candidates.
For all your campaign movement needs (not just the leaders), note Crikey’s excellent Election Tracker feature.
Adrian Schonfelder, Labor’s candidate for the Melbourne hinterland seat of Flinders (held for the Liberals by Greg Hunt), has apologised for suggesting Tony Abbott’s conservative social positions were influencing people to take their own lives.
Simon Canning of The Australian notes Labor is expected to keep its hands clean in the election marketing war by allowing the union movement to carry the can and send out ads attacking Liberal leader Tony Abbott and the threat of a Coalition government. The Australian Workers Union’s Addams Family ad is cited as a case in point.
Tony Koch and Sean Parnell of The Australian consider the impact of the government’s restitution of programs to engage indigenous people with the electoral process, which had been cut by the Rudd government. The main marginal seats with high indigenous populations are Leichhardt in far north Queensland and the Darwin-based seat of Solomon.
The Liberal National Party has come up with an odd arrangement whereby its newly preselected candidate for Kevin Rudd’s seat of Griffith, Rebecca Docherty herself a substitute for dumped former Liberal Democratic Party figure John Humphreys will make way for an unspecified high-profile candidate should Rudd have a late change of heart about remaining in politics.
Discussing Newspoll and Galaxy results in the Financial Review, Andrew Catsaras calculates the market share of swinging voters 17 per cent of the total at 29 per cent for Labor, 35 per cent for the Coalition and 31 per cent for the Greens. I presume he’s done this by comparing the totals to some measure of the parties’ bedrock levels of support. If we’re lucky he might enlighten us in comments.
The Daily Telegraph has published details of a poll on climate change conducted for lobbyist firm Parker and Partners by online polling company Pureprofile, showing 82 per cent of respondents favouring strong or moderate action immediately.