Leaders make election eve pitch to voters

The Liberal and Labor leaders have hit the ground running in the western and southern ends of the country in the final full day of campaigning ahead of the federal election.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard joined Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese in Adelaide on Friday morning, where he pledged to improve gender equality in Australia.

“We need to be a government that represents the entire nation – what that means is dealing with inequality on the basis of gender,” Mr Albanese said.


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Thursday was the biggest single day of pre-polling in Australia’s history with 743,000, a record the Australian Electoral Commission expects to be broken on Friday.

So far 4.6 million people have cast an early vote with 2.7 million registering for a postal vote.

Campaigning in Perth, Mr Morrison took aim at Labor’s record of “chaos” in government.

“This election is all about who was best able to manage our economy, who was best able to manage the nation’s finances,” he said.

He warned a Labor government would saddle Australians with more debt, and would see the nation’s borders inundated with boat arrivals.

Labor is ahead 53 per cent to 47 per cent on a two-party basis, using the allocation of preferences from the 2019 election, according to an Ipsos poll published in The Australian Financial Review on Friday.

In primary vote terms, Labor is on 34 per cent to the coalition’s 33 per cent, with the Greens on 12 per cent and “others” on 15 per cent.

The prime minister said he is more interested in the 3.9 per cent unemployment rate than the figures in the polls.

“Polls don’t determine elections and neither do politicians and neither do journalists,” he told ABC News Breakfast on Friday.

“Australians do, the many quiet ones out there working hard every day to ensure that they can get through each and every day’s challenges.”

Yet deputy Labor leader Richard Marles says the unemployment rate is not reassuring for many Australians as wages had grown at less than half the rate of inflation.

“The unemployment figure, that is cold comfort for the millions of Australians who this week received news of the biggest real wage cut in more than 20 years,” he told the Nine Network.

Meanwhile, Mr Albanese says he has given Labor’s election chances everything he has and committed to keep going until voting closes at 6pm on Saturday.

He said the difference between himself and Mr Morrison was his integrity and his capacity to take responsibility for things.

The opposition leader still believes a Labor success at the ballot box is a mountain to climb.

“I’m contemplating a majority Labor government on Saturday … and that is my only consideration,” he said.

“Labor has only won government three times from opposition since the Second World War and we knew that this election was going to be close.”

Mr Morrison remains confident he can win and is looking forward to Saturday.

“Elections are always very close and Australians weigh up their decision very, very carefully,” he said.

© AAP 2022