News Election 2019 Campaign diary: Promises, media appearances and a treasurer debate
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Campaign diary: Promises, media appearances and a treasurer debate

A comparison diptych generated on Monday. Photo: AAP
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“Why don’t people like you?”

It’s a tough question for the man polls still suggest is most likely to be Australia’s next Prime Minister.

“Look, you’ve splashed billions on promises. You have won, been judged to win, the last two debates. Why don’t people like you in terms of the preferred Prime Minister vote?” Sunrise host David Koch asked.

On Monday evening Mr Shorten later appeared on ABC’s Q&A, where an audience member asked him much the same question, to laughter and applause from the audience.

It was a legitimate question because of his disapproval rating among voters according to Newspoll and his ranking as preferred prime minister.

Do voters like him? And more importantly, does it matter? Isn’t how people vote in an election the only measure that counts?

No doubt, the Labor leader hopes the election will answer the question.

On Sunday, the Labor Party launch emphasised the unity and longevity of the team behind him including powerful female leaders Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek.

It wasn’t just the Bill Shorten show for a reason. Could it be because voters don’t actually like him that much?

On Monday, Ms Plibersek was out defending his popularity again – or lack of it.

“No I don’t believe that at all. I think we’ve got a very negative government. They’ve gone negative because they’ve got nothing and that of course frightens people,” she said.

With only 12 days until voting day, time will tell what the people really think of the Labor leader.

In the meantime, the leaders have been out courting the media at almost every opportunity – both appearing on ABC flagship programs on Monday night.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on ABC’s 7.30, where host Leigh Sales asked: ‘What is the point of a Morrison government?’

The PM also announced he and Mr Shorten would hold a third leadership debate on Wednesday at The National Press Club in Canberra.

Where were they?

Mr Morrison remained in New South Wales on Monday, visiting seats along the south coast.

Mr Shorten campaigned in Sydney’s west.

Promises … promises

Liberal: The party made a $160 million manufacturing announcement, which included offering local businesses access to a $50 million fund to invest in technology.

Mr Morrison also promised to back manufacturing with a reinvigorated “Australian Made” campaign to help increase exports.

Mr Morrison at the Nowchem factory south of Sydney. Photo: AAP

Labor: The ALP spoke about providing greater support for Australia’s cancer patients, and its aim to minimise out-of-pocket costs.

Mr Shorten speaks to cancer patient Sandy Eglin at Derby Street Medical Centre in Sydney. Photo: AAP

Quotes from the road

“Let’s talk about election promises because you’ve broken more than anybody on this podium.”
– Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen to his counterpart Josh Frydenberg at the treasurers’ debate

“We can’t shift Mother’s Day for the election, so it is what it is.”
– Liberal stalwart Michael Kroger explains why the party’s campaign launch will be on May 12

“We haven’t changed anything for those earning on the top tax rate. [Those] on the top tax rate will be returning 36 per cent of the income tax revenue. They will be paying 36 per cent of total income tax revenue.”
– Mr Morrison on the coalition’s stance on taxing high-income earners

“As a Mundine I’m giving him a bit of training on the boxing.”
– Liberal candidate for Gilmore Warren Mundine says he’s preparing Mr Morrison for the third leaders’ debate

Elsewhere on the election trail

Treasurers’ debate: Josh Frydenberg and Chris Bowen jousted at the treasurers’ debate.

Mr Bowen spruiked Labor’s ambitious agenda – changes to negative gearing and stopping franking credits to name a few. He also promised that taxes under Labor would be fairer.

Chris Bowen and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at the National Press Club. Photo: AAP

For his part Mr Frydenberg spoke of the Coalition’s strong budget surpluses and said the Coalition had an economic plan to grow the economy and create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years.

Third debate: The two major parties agreed on a third debate to be held on Wednesday at the National Press Club in Canberra.

The prime-time debate will be moderated by ABC journalist and National Press Club president Sabra Lane.

The news came as the ABC confirmed Mr Morrison had snubbed the public broadcaster’s invitation for him to appear on flagship program, Q&A.

Labor stands behind security agencies: Mr Shorten said he did not share the views of former prime minister Paul Keating, who said Australia’s spy chiefs were “nutters” harming the nation’s relationship with China.

Mr Shorten said Mr Keating was an elder statesmen of politics and respected his right to his views, but said his government would continue to take advice from “the people who help keep Australians safe”.

That’s Odd…

After all that seriousness, how is this for a palate cleanser?

Alex Dyson, a former radio host and independent candidate for the Victorian seat of Wannon, released an election video on Monday and two words sum it up – interpretative dance.

It’s really very good.