CANBERRA, AAP – Labor would continue an election campaign that “keeps it real” while the coalition rolls out its stage-managed events, a senior party figure says.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese enters the second week of campaigning in Brisbane, having been criticised for a first week marred by a number of stumbles.
A Resolve Strategic poll for The Sydney Morning Herald-The Age released on Monday showed Labor’s primary vote down four points to 34 per cent, with the coalition up one to 35 per cent.
Scott Morrison was ahead as the choice for preferred prime minister with 38 per cent, against 30 per cent for Mr Albanese in a sharp turnaround on the Labor leader’s 37-36 margin of two weeks ago.
Mr Albanese was met with a combination of boos and cheers when he attended the Byron Bay Bluesfest on Sunday night.
Top Australian Brokers
He had a better response talking to flood victims in Brisbane on Monday.
Labor campaign spokeswoman Katy Gallagher said Mr Albanese was determined to have “real interaction” ahead of the May 21 poll.
“I think that this election campaign, you have to keep it real,” she told ABC TV on Monday.
“You can’t just have stage-managed, controlled events like the prime minister is having where nobody gets to see anybody.”
She said her advice to Mr Albanese was to stay focused on the things that matter.
“We’ve got a nine-year-old tired government who has let aged care fall into disrepair, who haven’t acted on climate, who have had a series of rorts and waste.
“Our plan is about dealing with all of the waste and rorts and mismanagement and focusing on what matters … Medicare, helping people with cost of living pressures and actually dealing with the climate crisis.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said voters cared that their leaders were across details such as the unemployment rate and interest rates, which tripped up Mr Albanese early in the campaign.
“I don’t know what happened, he does not seem to be able to deal with those complex issues and that is really important,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Albanese said he had a “terrific night” in Byron Bay, talking to artists about their struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic and of being left behind in terms of coalition government support.
“What I know is that Australia needs a new government,” he said.
“Australia needs a better future, and the feedback that I get around the country, whether it’s in Cairns, whether it was in Bangalow, whether it be in Byron … is that Australians really know that this government’s tired. It’s out of puff, it’s out of time.”
Labor frontbencher Murray Watt accused Mr Morrison of failing to own up to his own stumble, a week on from Mr Albanese’s embarrassing inability to cite the official cash rate or national unemployment rate during a press conference.
Mr Morrison on Monday said the government had increased the JobSeeker rate from “40 bucks a week to 46 bucks a week since the last election”.
The unemployment benefit is about $46 a day.
Senator Watt said the Labor leader “offers a real contrast” to the prime minister.
“He offers someone who takes responsibility when he makes mistakes, we’ve seen today that Scott Morrison has made a gaffe by getting the JobSeeker rate wrong,” he told Sky News.
“I haven’t seen him come out and say he got it wrong, like Anthony Albanese did.”