Anthony Albanese will today conduct Labor’s campaign launch today, a fact that I wouldn’t normally consider worth mentioning, such has been the decline of the ritual’s significance over the last few decades. However, Labor has increased the chances of the event being noticed by holding it in Perth, which will at least give his profile a badly needed boost in that city, where Labor is counting on picking up two or possibly three seats.
• The second leaders’ debate of the campaign will be hosted by the Nine Network next Sunday and moderated by Sarah Abo of Nine’s 60 Minutes, with questions posed to the leaders by Chris Uhlmann, David Crowe and Deb Knight, respectively of Nine’s television, print and radio arms.
• Labor’s how-to-vote cards can now be found on the candidate pages on its website. The Greens are second on all Senate tickets except Tasmania, where they are behind the Jacqui Lambie Network, presumably in the hope that the party will deprive a right-wing minor party of a place (or, less likely, third-placed Liberal Eric Abetz) while Labor and the Greens win three seats between them as before. As far as I can tell, Labor has the United Australia Party second last and One Nation last in every lower house seat with the curious exception of Dawson, where the United Australia Party is third behind Katter’s Australian Party and ahead of the Greens, which as far as I can see stands no chance of accomplishing anything other than compromising Labor’s national anti-Palmer message.
• Having spoken with “15 Liberal MPs in and outside the Morrison cabinet who are familiar with the Coalition’s election strategy and internal polling and who have campaigned in these seats”, James Massola and Anthony Galloway of the Age/Herald report the party is “increasingly nervous” that it will lose Kooyong, Goldstein, North Sydney and Wentworth to teal independents. After spending the earlier part of the campaign in marginal seats in both Sydney and Melbourne, Josh Frydenberg will spend the remainder of it defending his own seat of Kooyong.
• Mark Ludlow of the Financial Review quotes Peter Beattie saying Labor has “lowered its expectations” in Queensland, and says Labor is “now working to ensure there is no net loss of seats in the state”. Labor nonetheless remains hopeful in Brisbane and Longman. Similarly, the previously noted Age/Herald report relates that “strategists on both sides now believe it’s possible no seats will change hands in Queensland”, and further offers that the Liberals are targeting Labor-held Blair, though perhaps in hope more than expectation.
• Liberal attacks ads portraying Anthony Albanese as a puppet of Dan Andrews reportedly reflect hopes that hostility towards the Andrews government over COVID lockdowns has damaged Labor enough in outer suburbia to put McEwen, Corangamite and Dunkley in play. Paul Sakkal in the Sunday Age reports that “internal Liberal Party research in seats stretching from Frankston in the east to Geelong in the west shows Andrews’ net favourability rating is between negative 10 and negative 20”. However, the report relates the view of Redbridge Group pollster Kos Samaras that the Liberals are “barking up the wrong tree because his polling suggests state Labor’s vote is, on average, 7% higher than federal Labor’s in seats with geographical overlap”.