Morrison and Albanese target undecided voters in final campaign blitz

The two party leaders are making crucial pitches on opposite ends of the country in the campaign's final days.

The two party leaders are making crucial pitches on opposite ends of the country in the campaign's final days.

With just one day left of campaigning before Australians hit the polls, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese will make crucial pitches on opposite ends of the country in 11th-hour bids to win over undecided voters.

Mr Morrison will start the day in Perth, where he is expected to visit the must-win Coalition-held marginal seats of Pearce, Hasluck, Swan and Labor-held Cowan.

Western Australia is a challenge for the Coalition given the McGowan government’s sweeping victory in March last year and a concerted effort by federal Labor to claw back Swan and Pearce.

The Opposition held its campaign launch in WA earlier this month and leader Anthony Albanese campaigned heavily in the state this week.

Coalition sources told The New Daily that Mr Morrison would spend Friday continuing to promote the Coalition’s housing policy, which would allow prospective first-home buyers to dip into their superannuation to save up for a deposit.

Mr Morrison spruiked the policy at almost all of his media events this week, holding three consecutive press conferences at housing display homes.

Sources said the Prime Minister would also repeat his messaging about “choice” – emphasising what he views as key differences between the Coalition and Labor, especially on the economy.

Mr Morrison has said the word “choice” repeatedly throughout the election campaign, including seven times on Thursday.

“People being in jobs is the most important thing that the economy needs,” Mr Morrison told reporters in the marginal Tasmanian seat of Lyons on Thursday.

“Are we going to have a Labor Party and a Labor leader that doesn’t know its way around the economy?

“That is the choice that Australians are going to have to make.”

Historic low unemployment

Mr Morrison’s messaging was buoyed by the release of unemployment figures on Wednesday, showing the rate remained stable at 3.9 per cent.

Campaigning in the marginal New South Wales electorate of Werriwa later on Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister held an unscheduled press conference to talk up the figures.

“For the first time since 1974, unemployment in this country once again has a three in front of it and in Western Australia, it has a two in front of it,” he said.

“So, this election is a choice about who can manage money and who can’t.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese will start Friday in Canberra before heading to Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania as part of a so-called “20-seat blitz” of marginal seats in the final days of the campaign.

It comes after Labor released its policy costings on the penultimate day of campaigning showing an extra $7.4 billion of budget spending over the next four years.

Announcing a Labor government would take the budget deficit for the 2022-23 financial year to $79.1 billion, finance spokesperson Katy Gallagher accused the Coalition of spending and borrowing more than any other government.

“We do not have the luxury of burying and hiding billions of dollars in various slush funds, as Scott Morrison likes to do,” Senator Gallagher told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“The Australian people deserve a government that is better than that.”

Personal barbs

The campaign became increasingly personal on Thursday, with Mr Morrison blasting his opponent as a “hypocrite” and “precious” after he accused the Coalition of making fun of his surname.

Throughout the campaign, the Coalition has run advertisements with the slogan “It won’t be easy under Albanese”, a pun on the Labor leader’s name.

Mr Albanese indicated concerns with the ads had been raised by multiple people.

Mr Morrison accused Mr Albanese as being a “hypocrite” because Labor’s campaign spokesman Jason Clare last month joked about the Coalition sending “some bloke called Zed” to the Solomon Islands – referring to Pacific Minister Zed Seselja.

Despite trailing in the polls, Mr Morrison has appeared confident and unflustered in front of the cameras – religiously sticking to his script and joking with punters at campaign events.

Mr Albanese’s sprint to the finish line hasn’t been as smooth.

On Thursday, he made an apparent stumble when he incorrectly stated on ABC News Breakfast that Australia’s borders were closed – even though they have been open since February.

Mr Albanese later clarified that he meant borders were previously closed.

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