Campaign Countdown: dog days, Pauline visits WA and Mother’s Week
Less than a week to go in the Federal Election campaign and all eyes are on WA seats that shape as crucial battlegrounds in the race to form government.
In the final of our weekly updates tracking the campaign, we take a look at the who, where, why and what (on earth!) of the political happenings ahead of a May 18 polling day.
Newspoll suggests the race remains locked at 51 per cent to 49 per cent in Labor’s favour for a third straight week. The bookies have also shortened the odds of a majority Labor win on Saturday, with Bill Shorten at $1.14 to be our next PM and Scott Morrison (and the Coalition) at $5.50 to remain in the job after Sunday.
Labor has promised $30 million to redevelop the WACA and $23 million for a new cycle bridge at the Swan River crossing at the Causeway to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
Meanwhile, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has made one final push for votes out west, visiting a Joondalup shopping centre and a Mandurah early polling station and arguing with Labor’s Anne Aly about the fallout from a lunch they once shared.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that some key WA seats – Liberal-held Hasluck, Pearce, Stirling and Swan and Labor’s Cowan – could be crucial indicators of the way this election will go.
While you were playing:
The Coalition unveiled some new policies at its party launch in Victoria on Sunday:
- $53 million for perinatal care and post-natal depression, something Prime Minister Scott Morrison said was “close to home”
- $75 million for a program to encourage parents and carers back into the workforce
- $70 million for women’s sports
- A new home loan deposit scheme that means first home buyers would need to pull together a 5 per cent deposit to buy their new home, instead of the 20 per cent most banks now require. Labor quickly matched this: a plan to offer first home buyers a taxpayer-backed guarantee for their deposit.
On the road again
PM Scott Morrison spearheaded the Coalition’s campaign launch in Melbourne on Sunday but was in Perth by Monday, catching up with the Hockeyroos. Meanwhile, Labor leader Bill Shorten fronted for an interview with Barrie Cassidy on ABC TV’s Insiders, participated in a Mother’s Day fun run, and attended his own rally in his electorate of Maribyrnong (Labor/10.4 per cent).
Great to visit the @Hockeyroos at their home base in Perth today & congratulate them on their teammates win over in the US. Their next big match is against China. To support them we will invest $600k to upgrade their recovery & change room facilities. pic.twitter.com/3XtAbHq9Er
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) 13 May 2019
Labor finally released its costings late last week, promising bigger surpluses than the Coalition has suggested it could deliver.
It was Scott Morrison’s birthday on Monday (51) and and it was Bill Shorten’s on Sunday (52).
Some of the Liberal Party’s star power has been rolled out for the final, crucial week of campaigning, with Julie Bishop joining Scott Morrison in Perth yesterday and John Howard hitting the trail in Warringah with Tony Abbott.
Hot topic, hot seats:
Russell Crowe has given a celebrity endorsement to independent Rob Oakeshott who is a short-priced favourite to win Cowper (National/4.6 per cent).
One political tweet.
We’ve got big issues concerning us all, I would suggest, for the health and beauty of our town, the long awaited bypass is the biggest Issue.
Tunnels preserve the landscape and the soundscape.
Oakeshott for Cowper.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 11, 2019
Mind you, the man who was once Maximus might have broken his promises about “one political tweet” within days:
No horse in the race, and not a dis on good egg J.Frydenbeg.
If a man like Burnside AO QC wants to take on politics …don’t we just find him a seat and say “thanks Mr Burnside, cup of tea?”
It is to our greater benefit to elect the very best minds . https://t.co/Fdob3bO8sl
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 12, 2019
Gurpal Singh, the Liberal candidate for Scullin in Victoria, last week became the seventh candidate to jump ship (or be pushed) from his party over sketchy social media history – in his case, comments relating to same sex marriage and allegations of rape.
It’s been an election campaign light on for truly emotional moments but one arrived last week after Bill Shorten’s tearful response to a Daily Telegraph article querying his mother’s life story. Mr Shorten’s own words were poignant but it was the flurry of #MyMum tweets that followed in the hours and days afterwards that really gave the topic legs.
#MyMum gave birth to 5boys then developed breast cancer. Dr told her there was no hope. Mum said she looked him in the eye and said: “I am NOT leaving my boys to grow up without me”. She beat it and her boys were her life. She is 95 and has dementia. My hero.
— Ray Gatt (@Gatty54) May 8, 2019
#MyMum saved a group of schoolgirls from being killed by soldiers as a teen. Then dodged bullets, jumped off a moving train & survived imprisonment for us. Once in Australia she put aside her own education & cleaned houses so her 4 children could one day all end up uni graduates pic.twitter.com/4t8EW7JZp4
— Ann Odong 🐨 (@AnnOdong) May 9, 2019
#myMUM was forced to leave school at 14 and earn income for her father. When her husband died young she worked as a builder/handywoman to put food on the table for us. When I was a teen she went to night school and did her HSC 💪 pic.twitter.com/0iH47z5Unv
— Jo Hirst (@thegenderfairy1) May 8, 2019
#Mymum is 92. She did grade 8 three times because there was no high school. She worked in factories and then married and had 8 kids. We lost our dad when I was 11. She raised us to be fair and to reach for the stars. She needed our safety net to see us all into adulthood.
— Joanne Ryan MP (@JoanneRyanLalor) May 8, 2019
OK so #MyMum put ambitions on hold to have 4 kids by 28, cared for us & dad after he had a brain tumor, was politically active, went to uni in her 40s & got a degree, learnt Spanish & for 20 years led tour groups to Sth America & China. She’s 82, vibrant, & we couldn’t be prouder
— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) May 8, 2019
She was only 18 when #mymum had to fight most of her family, the church and the community to keep me, her baby. They thought #mymum, as an unwed teenager, should put me up for adoption. But thanks to her, and her own mum’s support, she kept me. And I’m so glad. Love #mymum
— Emma Griffiths (@EJGriffiths) May 9, 2019
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- Seven things we learned from the Perth leaders debate
- Federal Election: what you need to know
- What is the caretaker period and what does it mean for me?
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