This is it. One day remaining. The candidates have made their pitches. They’ve told us what they stand for. We’re on the precipice, it’s time to dive into the pool of democracy. Let’s just hope the water is deep enough.

In their final mad dash for the finish line, Julia Gillard visited a dam in Queanbeyan, made a parental leave announcement in Canberra and quaffed a beer during happy hour on the NSW central coast. Meanwhile, Tony Abbott was busy bragging to journalists that he would pull an all-nighter, as he visited a fruit market in Brisbane, drank a shandy in Sydney and gave radio interviews in the early hours of the morning.


So after 34 days of high vis vests and mining truck backdrops, Julia Gillard’s Happy Hour Huddle has an almost insurmountable lead with 48,649km, while Tony Abbott’s Graveyard Shift Squad has made a valiant last ditch effort to finish on 43,560km. Together, that’s a staggering 92,209km — the equivalent of more than 16 tonnes of carbon emissions.


  • Julia Gillard began the penultimate day of campaign in Queanbeyan in the bellwether (aren’t you glad you won’t have to hear that word again for three years) seat of Eden-Monaro (2.3% ALP), where she visited a work site at the Googong Dam. Gillard spoke with workers about the effects of WorkChoices and that removing the legislation was one of the proudest moments of her life.
  • Gillard then made the short trip to the National Press Club in Canberra, where she delivered her final campaign speech. As well as predicting a close result, Gillard announced a two-week paid paternity leave plan for new dads. The scheme would start from July 2012 with eligible new fathers paid the minimum wage of $570 a week.
  • Gillard then made an appearance at the Lakeside Village Tavern in Raymond Terrace in the seat of Paterson (0.6% LIB). Gillard talked with locals as she drank beer and played Keno.


  • Tony Abbott began his day at the Brisbane Produce Markets, where he was greeted excitedly by early morning fruiterers. One worker embraced Abbott, while another praised the opposition leader’s manliness. “We need tough men who are going to make this country good,” Darius Kabengele, a worker at the markets, said.
  • Abbott then took a turn on the media bus, where he spoke candidly with journalists about the stresses of life on the campaign trail, surviving on coffee and sometimes only three hours’ sleep. Abbott also told journalists that he would not sleep for 36 hours of continuous campaigning: “I love them [voters] and I want to meet as many of them as I can over the next 36 hours.”
  • Abbott then took the campaign blitz to Sydney, where he shared a beer with locals, played some late-night tennis and visited a police station. The opposition leader worked all night as he visited a slew of marginal seats, as well as taking part in a number of graveyard shift phone interviews.

Pub Watch:

  • Both leaders washed away their sorrows with a pre-election tipple last night. By all reports, Julia Gillard sampled a Tooheys Old, while Tony Abbott tried a lemonade shandy:


Humpty Watch:

  • And here’s Scott Morrison doing some last-minute campaigning at the ABC:



  • “I am in no way getting ahead of myself and I am very happy with the work of the incumbent.” — Tony Abbott on whether he will appoint John Howard as Governor-General.

Where they are today:

  • Tony Abbott, in Sydney, hasn’t stopped. Here’s his morning: a midnight visit to Campbelltown Police Station, various graveyard shift radio interviews, a short layover before a 4am trip to the Flemington Flower Markets and onto the Sydney Fish Markets at 5:30am. More radio and TV interviews followed (both leaders have now appeared on ABC Radio’s AM). His schedule beyond that remains a mystery.
  • Julia Gillard was at Umina Beach north of Sydney for an early morning interview on Today, with more last-minute campaigning on the central coast this morning. She’s expected to return to Sydney later today to blitz more marginal seats in the western suburbs.
  • Bob Brown is in Melbourne, joining the Greens candidate now favoured to win a seat in the House of Representatives, Adam Brandt.

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.