Crikey asks the sharpest political commentators which leader got the best of the campaigning day yesterday, plus we track where the leaders are and what cash promises they’ve made …
WHO WON THE DAY ON THURSDAY?
Bernard Keane, Crikey Canberra correspondent: Judging by the ferocious Coalition and News Ltd attacks on Peter Beattie, Kevin Rudd handily won it in unveiling his candidate for Forde. Abbott was in Tasmania for some retail politics, hoping to lock in the one to two seats all expect the Liberals to pick up in the Apple Isle, but all eyes were a far way to the north.
Natasha Stott Despoja, former leader of the Democrats: Yesterday’s winner: Kevin Rudd. Rudd could’ve won on surprise factor alone. Securing Peter Beattie for the seat of Forde was a coup and handled stealthily. Regardless of Beattie’s electoral appeal, it also represents a significant burying of the hatchet! It was hard for the Coalition to get a look in yesterday as a result.
Kerry Chikarovski, former NSW Liberal leader, lobbyist and media commentator: Clearly Kevin Rudd thinks bringing in Peter Beattie is a coup and I think he would’ve been disappointed that it didn’t give him the bounce in the polls he expected. Abbott would have been pleased with the fact that this didn’t happen. In some ways, the Beattie story was a distraction from the campaign because it became a bit of sideshow. While Mr Rudd would think he won the day, in reality it’s pretty even.
Nick Economou, senior lecturer in the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University: I wonder how many more Labor dinosaurs are going to be resurrected to save Labor’s campaign? Kevin Rudd is winning the battle of the hoopla but the Coalition is still marginally in front when it comes to policy. So the Coalition are still ahead, but Labor’s still in the game. I give yesterday to Rudd because of the Beattie factor.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
The Liberals have promised cash incentives for Tasmanian businesses who hire unemployed job seekers, while Labor continues to announce funding promises for science and infrastructure projects …
- $52 million in federal funding for the Tourie Street Bridge in Newcastle, a safe Labor electorate with a 12.5% margin.
- $24 million of federal funding for two major science projects in Western Australia, including $12 million for the Advanced Resource Characterisation Facility and $12 million for the Square Kilometer Array.
- $3350 to any Tasmanian business that hires any unemployed jobseeker who has been on Newstart Allowance for six months or longer, and then continues to employ them for at least six months.
CAMPAIGN DIARY (FRIDAY)
Kevin Rudd: The Prime Minister began his day with a live interview with Channel Seven’s Sunrise, in which he presented departing presenter Mel Doyle with flowers. Rudd then visited Langwarrin Park Primary School in the marginal electoral of Dunkley on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula, a seat currently held by Liberal Bruce Billson. Rudd’s widely tipped to visit the Laura Smyth’s electoral of Latrobe this afternoon.
Tony Abbott: After setting out for an early morning bike ride clad in lycra, the Opposition Leader took his campaign road show to Brisbane’s famed Ekka. Abbott attended the show with his wife Margie and a press pack eagerly awaiting photo opportunities of the Liberal leader with showbags, babies and farm animals. Abbott also awarded a blue ribbon to a junior handler’s heifer named Fairy, before announcing a judicial inquiry into Labor’s insulation program while standing in front of an enormous pile of insulation.
Christine Milne: The Greens leader is in Hobart again today where she’ll be holding a joint press conference with Senator Peter Whish-Wilson calling for an end to shale gas exploration in Tasmania. She’s scheduled to depart for Melbourne tomorrow where she’ll be attending the Victorian campaign launch and meeting voters in Adam Bandt’s electorate.
QUIRK OF THE DAY
Its hard to go past Family First Senate Candidate Henry Heng’s amateur campaign video, which has resurfaced in the news today — a coup for all Henrys nationwide …
TWEET OF THE DAY
Labor heavyweights are back in Rooty Hill today. This time Foreign Minister Bob Carr joins Frontbencher Ed Husic to celebrate the end of Eid at a local mosque …