Leaders use debate as a springboard for campaigns

Anthony Albanese took a small win in the first televised debate as both leaders look to use their performance as a campaign boost.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has narrowly won the first leaders’ debate as he wants to use the performance as a springboard for the remainder of week two of the election campaign.

During Wednesday evening’s televised debate between Mr Albanian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Brisbane, the opposition leader gained more support from the group of 100 undecided voters.

Mr Albanese received 40 percent of the vote, compared to 35 percent for Mr Morrison, as 25 percent of the crowd remained undecided.

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Both leaders will start the day in Brisbane before campaigning in fringe seats on Day 11 of the campaign.

While the prime minister used Wednesday’s debate to improve his economic record, he was criticized for saying he and his wife were “blessed” to have children without disabilities.

The comments came after a public question about NDIS funding from the mother of an autistic child whose support for the scheme had been cut by 30 percent.

The two leaders also exchanged blows over positions on boat reversals.

Morrison accused the opposition leader of being inconsistent on the matter and brought back Labor policies from when they were last in office.

Following news that the Solomon Islands have signed a security pact with China, Mr Albanian criticized Mr Morrison over foreign policy flaws, while also calling Pacific Minister Zed Seselja a “junior citizen”.

“This isn’t so much a step into the Pacific, it’s a step into the Pacific,” he said.

The prime minister said the issue in the Solomons was serious and the government had long been aware of it.

Both leaders received questions from the public about a federal integrity commission, support for small businesses, housing affordability and confidence in politics.

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Peter Fray

Peter Fray
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