Five days to go and the Labor Party has finally launched its campaign yesterday in front of the party faithful in Brisbane. It was yet another indicator Queensland is the key state in this campaign, after Tony Abbott held his knees-up at the same venue just over a week ago. Meanwhile, Abbott was in marginal western Sydney yesterday, where he was rolling out the pork for local projects before appearing on Q&A. However, all the talk has been about the front-page egging on New South Wales’ central coast.
So after 30 days of ribbons being cut, Julia Gillard has covered 39,421km, while Tony Abbott is still in the lead with 40,800km. Together, that’s an amazing 80,221km — the equivalent of more than 1.4 billion average-sized chicken eggs.
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- Gillard was in Brisbane yesterday, where she launched the Labor Party campaign in front of party faithful at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Wayne Swan, Anna Bligh and Bob Hawke spoke at the event, as Kevin Rudd watched on from the front row. It was a largely substance-free launch, as Gillard trialed her new “yes we will” campaign slogan. Meanwhile, it was left to Wayne Swan to bring the zingers, as he told the crowd that Tony Abbott wanted to take Australia back to a time “when broadband was something on your hat”.
- Tony Abbott visited western Sydney yesterday, where he blitzed the seats of Macquarie, Lindsay, Hughes, Macarthur and Greenway. Abbott took the opportunity to make a few small announcements in the marginal seats, however it wasn’t all beer and skittles as the opposition leader was forced to cancel a train trip from the Blue Mountains to Penrith when “union organisers” got word of his plans.
- Abbott then appeared on ABC’s Q&A, where he faced questions on religion, broadband, asylum seekers and the BER. Abbott even fielded a question from a Kevin Rudd impersonator. “How can I be less like Kevin, and more like you?” fake Kevin asked. “I think that would be an impossible transformation,” Abbott quipped.
- Julia Gillard has revealed her music taste in an interview with Clare Bowditch, telling the singer that she enjoys a “moderate” connection with US pop star Lady Gaga. “I feel a moderate connection to her because Tim’s daughter has work doing some hair and makeup for her,” she said. Gillard also said she loves Bruce Springsteen and Cold Chisel. “I’m a dreadful 80s kind of dag, a child of that era,” she said.
Debate about the debate Watch:
- It’s the debate about the debate that has everyone yawning: will they or won’t they hold a ‘town hall’-style forum and a debate on the economy? So far both have agreed to a second televised debate, but are yet to agree on a time or place. It’s sure to be a big story today, as both leaders look for an advantage in the remaining days.
- It’s been a long campaign for Tim Matheison and Julia Gillard, if yesterday’s launch is anything to go by:
- The Daily Tele cracked the campaign wide open today when they revealed Darren Jameson, Liberal candidate for Robertson (0.1% ALP) , has been accused of man-handling two 13-year-old boys for throwing eggs at his car. Crikey loves the story, however we reckon the headline needs a bit of work. ‘LIBS CHANCES SCRAMBLED’ or ‘LIBS FEAR SEAT COULD BE POACHED’, perhaps?
Where they are today:
- Julia Gillard has chased the sun for her second visit to Townsville. She spoke to the media at 8am with Treasurer Wayne Swan, highlighting the rollout of the national broadband network and the Coalition’s policy costings. This evening she’ll head back to Brisbane — if the parties agree to the terms of a debate on the economy.
- Tony Abbott is in Canberra for a pre-poll address to the National Press Club (Gillard will appear on Thursday). He’ll announce a new jobs policy to pay unemployed young people up to $6,500 for finding and keeping jobs.
- Brown Brown gets his Press Club performance tomorrow. He’s in Brisbane today, talking light rail with Senate candidate Larissa Waters
What is the tracker?
Crikey tracks each leader’s amazing race across the country via our Election Tracker. Each day we’ll plot the leaders’ movements, feeding in the key policy announcements and spending commitments, the best media coverage and social media chat, plus the campaign stunts and bloopers. You can also use the tracker as a hub for the best Crikey coverage.
Click on the tabs across the top to watch how many kilometres Gillard and Abbott have clocked up, the movements of other key players and finally our bloopers and stunts bonanza on the right. You can click on each stop to see what they’re up to, with links to extended coverage and detailed electorate information.