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 … 


Bernard Keane, Crikey Canberra correspondent: Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave policy got a second full day of coverage, only not so positive this time, with even News Corporation’s Coalition cheerleaders savaging it, while the issue of its funding has yet to be resolved. Given this policy is over three years old, you’d think the opposition brains trust would have had the detail worked out by now. No wonder the Coalition didn’t release the transcript of Joe Hockey’s disastrous interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in which he claimed, because he was in a car, that he couldn’t explain how much of the $5.5 billion cost the 1.5% tax on medium and large companies would raise. Kevin Rudd, pottering about the central and north coast of NSW, just had to stay out of trouble to chalk up a win by default.

Richard Farmer, Crikey election analyst: Some progress for Labor as they knuckled down and started concentrating their campaign effort on where’s the money coming from theme. More and more of the same in the coming weeks and the message just might get through that the main judgement voters have to make about Tony Abbott and his promises is which ones of them he won’t keep. And if anyone reaches the conclusion that he really will keep them all then heaven help us all if they are right. A Ruddy good day and y[pullquote position=”right”]ou have to admire the way the Prime Minister keeps smiling as if he really is enjoying his underdog status[/pullquote].

Tim Wilson, policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs: Newspoll’s sting that the ALP and Rudd’s personal popularity are in decline will just reinforce existing prejudices and potentially perpetuate the current decline. The only thing in the ALP’s favour is that their “new way” blackout advertisements are effective, but the Liberal Party still has a lot of money and presumably will respond with an advertising blitzkrieg that will neutralise them. Abbott took some hits on his excessively generous paid parental leave scheme, but it is inside the cycleways talk that engages boffins, not punters. For the punters he got his message across on Sunday that if you have kids it is now the state’s job to pick up the tab for the first six months … Yuck. A reasonable Abbott win.

John Connolly, founder of John Connolly and Partners public relations firm: As Coles and Status Quo (for younger readers they were a pre-hiphop band) say: “Down down deeper and down I want all the world to see to see you’re laughing at me.” The election is not even taken up most of the front pages any more. While everyone’s favourite pollie Joe Hockey many have caught a bit of ALP disease last night nothing can save Kev and his former all-stars now. Abbott win.


The campaign promises yesterday and this morning. For the net result so far (and the latest updates) visit the Cash Tracker online



  • $50 million for a Safer Streets program, more CCTV and better street lighting;
  • $25 million to upgrade the Great Ocean Road.


Kevin Rudd: Beginning the day in the marginal Labor seat of Moreton, Brisbane, the Prime Minister is expected to unveil a plan for medical research funding. While serving snags this morning, he actually got out the old “fair shake of the sauce bottle” line. Well done, Kevin.

Tony Abbott: The Opposition Leader started out in Victoria announcing an upgrade to the Great Ocean Road. He went on to Geelong to announce his support for DisabilityCare and to showcase his skills in T-shirt folding. And he no doubt wondered whether to disendorse Kevin Baker, who this morning apologised over his reported hosting of a website which joked about p-edophilia and domestic violence.

Christine Milne: The Greens leader is launching the party’s Western Australian election campaign in Perth with Senator Scott Ludlam at 11am local time. She will return to Melbourne later today.


Peter Slipper’s steadfast wife Inge has expressed a desire to run for office, apparently undeterred by the trials of Ashby-gate …


Not content with using the News Corporation press to champion his views, Rupert Murdoch weighs in on Twitter — make no mistake about his election pick (or, oddly, his feelings about Muslims):