Someone really should have brought a basketball.
It also appears one option has already sold out!
The Melbourne journalist Margaret Simons has gone gonzo (kind of): she tested positive for Covid-19 this morning, so had to use the Australian Electoral Commission telephone voting system.
The AEC scrambled to change the criteria for telephone voting this week, after it was criticised for limiting eligibility to those who tested positive prior to 6pm on 13 May. But Simons posted that the whole process had ran rather smoothly for her today:
This story from Mostafa Rachwani on first time voters is lovely.
Anthony Albanese has pressed the flesh at a polling station in Higgins, meeting voters (and a bunch of dogs) in the Victorian marginal Liberal seat that Labor wants to win.
Arriving shortly after polls opened, the Labor leader was swamped by volunteers and voters for photos and handshakes. He and Labor candidate Michelle Ananda-Rajah met a cavoodle called Bismarck wearing a Labor button, a black greyhound in a red jacket, and dozens of Labor supporters chanting “ALBO, ALBO”.
Albanese worked the queue of voters, picking out parents and kids to talk to. He high-fived a young girl whose mum said she was “voting for the future” on issues like climate change.
A Liberal Democrats volunteer greeted him at the gate, as he told her “good on you for participating in our democracy”. Liberal party volunteers brandishing signs for Higgins incumbent Katie Allen yelled “what’s the unemployment rate?”
Just as he left, a Liberal-shirted man ran across the road with a Bluetooth speaker, pumping the dance remix of the “hole in your bucket” song and dancing as Albanese’s car took off.
Albanese didn’t take in a democracy sausage though – maybe holding off until he gets back to Sydney later today, where he’s expected to vote.
Earlier, both Scott Morrison and Albanese revealed their sausage sandwich preferences on Today.
The Labor leader has been on a health kick and says he’s off bread, but “sometimes I have double sausage … you get more sausage than bread”. He added that he garnished his sausage with onions and BBQ sauce.
Morrison simply said he took his with tomato sauce.
Scott Morrison has changed his morning schedule at the last minute, and will no longer be visiting the key seat of Chisholm, in Melbourne’s east.
He is instead heading for his electorate of Cook, in Sydney’s south, where he will cast his vote this afternoon.
The Liberal’s Gladys Liu holds Chisholm by a sliver of votes, with the margin 0.5%. You can read more about the electorate in this great profile here.
I think these shots were only taken last election night? It’s been a rough three years, what with the pandemic and all.
Nick Evershed has done wonderful work this campaign. In the latest and possibly last instalment of his pork-o-meter reporting, he reveals that my beloved Victoria has been short-changed in election commitments.
The ALP will seek a federal court injunction this morning to authorise the removal of election signs posted in the key Victorian seat of Higgins, a campaign spokesperson has confirmed.
The signs, which resemble official Greens election material, urge voters to put Labor last – despite the Greens recommending a vote for the ALP ahead of the Coalition on how-to-vote cards across the country.
The Labor spokesperson said printed material with similar messaging had also been distributed in the marginal seat of McEwen and in Hawke. The injunction application will also relate to this material.
The Greens also spoke out about the signs last night, urging voters on Twitter not to “fall for the Libs’ desperate tricks”. It said the material had been reported to the Australian Electoral Commission and police.
The Liberals campaign has been contacted for comment.
I’m a fairly big footy fan, but not sure how much all these analogies mean to the rest of voters (and I believe kicking into the wind can actually be an advantage in rugby union sometimes?)
On Weekend Today, Scott Morrison managed to turn a question about whether he has BBQ sauce on his democracy sausage into a stump speech about jobkeeper and co-funding the hospital system during the pandemic. We can’t fault him – those are more important issues than what he was asked.
Asked how he would celebrate as the results come in tonight, Morrison pivoted to the unemployment rate (3.9%), the number of apprentices, and the Coalition’s superannuation policy for first home buyers: “Labor will never let you do that”.
Former foreign minister Julie Bishop got a few questions, and asked about a Coalition minority government: how prepared are you to collaborate, negotiate and back down on some positions you’ve held?
Let me make two points: the first one is voting for Independents today will create a chaotic parliament at a time when Australia can least afford it. I have seen those parliaments in the past, governments having to negotiate for their existence every day. … Our policies we have set out very clearly and we feel very strongly about those policies because we know that is what delivers a strong economy and if Independents want to support those policies, well fine, but embracing policies that weaken our economy, that weaken our borders, that weaken our national security, that is not something that a government that I lead can do.
Asked the first order of business if elected, Morrison answered about allowing first home buyers to access super, a scheme which won’t start until 1 July 2023.
Welcome to Albo Country.
Ok, time to start up a bit of a rolling collection of the funniest election campaign social posts. Given Wannon is the electorate I grew up in, I’ll kick off with this:
On ABC News Breakfast, Scott Morrison was asked about whether his promise to change meant Australians did not know what they’ll be getting.
I don’t agree with that at all. The strength that I have described in the way that I did, that remains. But we will be going into a different gear. That is the point I’ve been trying to make. During the course of the pandemic, not a lot of time for talk, not a lot of time for consultation, not a lot of time to take people with you. You’ve got to make decisions right there in the moment. … But now we’re going into a phase where there will be more opportunity and we can shift gears.
Guardian Australia challenged Morrison about the bulldozer analogy on Friday – it now appears to be so incoherent a promise of change with continuity that Morrison can’t bring himself to say the word. The “strength remains”, so Morrison will bring continuity, but we can shift gears, so there will be change. Hmm.
Johanna Nicholson noted that Morrison’s explanation that the “Morrison men” rush in to fix things doesn’t make a lot of sense – because most of the criticisms of Morrison are about absence (Hawaii, fires) or failure to fix things quickly (floods, vaccines).
Morrison replied those are “Labor’s criticisms”:
What we have done is ensure that Australia has had one of the lowest death rates in the world, one of the strongest economies, with more than 400,000 people in jobs after the pandemic compared to before, more hours worked, and we have ensured that Australia has the highest, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Despite the early setbacks, we got in there and we turned it around.
Australia’s vaccination rate is no longer world leading – please see this factcheck of Morrison’s grandiose claims during the Coalition launch on Sunday.
On 3AW Radio, Scott Morrison said he “won’t telegraph where he’s going”, but his office has already said he’ll be in McEwen and Chisholm today. He rattled off other important electorates: Dunkley, in the south-east and Corangamite in outer Geelong.
Morrison was asked about Josh Frydenberg and didn’t commit to drop in on Kooyong, but spruiked the treasurer:
He’s full of beans, he is indefatigable, Josh is full of energy all the time and full of passion and commitment for his local community. I mean, all of us have the opportunity to serve as members of parliament, and particularly in the roles that Josh and I do as prime minister and treasurer, because of the wonderful support we get in our own communities … he’s an outstanding local member, not just an incredibly fine treasurer, and Josh is such an important part of the government’s team and the party and its future … I encourage people to back in Josh because Josh backs in his community and he backs in Australia.
On the choice between Labor and the Coalition, Morrison said:
[Australians are] making a decision about who they want to run the nation’s economy and the nation’s finances because that’s going to determine their opportunities in the years ahead. Because if you can’t manage money, you can’t support Medicare, you can’t do all the things that are necessary. We’ve invested $19.1 billion in fixing our aged care system. All of this needs a strong economy behind that. And we’ve demonstrated that we have that strong economic plan, which puts downward pressure on rising interest rates and rising cost of living.
Scott Morrison is starting the day in Melbourne, with trips to Labor-held McEwen in the northern suburbs and Liberal-held Chisholm in the east scheduled. Morrison said he started the day with a prayer, waking up beside Jenny, his wife of 30 years.
Morrison’s first interview was on Sunrise, where he gave a stump speech about the economic recovery from Covid – check this factcheck on the bold claim Australia’s recovery leads the advanced world.
Morrison was asked about his low approval with women and whether it bothers him. He said:
No, look, I don’t take anything personally in politics. I seek to understand how people feel about these things and this is an area where clearly I need to communicate better.
Morrison then rattled off statistics about the gender pay gap, how women benefited from tax cuts (although not as much as men, it should be noted) and other policies for women including the budget endometriosis package.
Asked about his biggest regret, Morrison said:
Well, I’ve said it many times. I wish we had been able to militarise the vaccine rollout earlier and bring General Frewen in earlier. We’ve got a wonderful health department but that’s the thing, in the middle of a pandemic you don’t get everything right, but when you don’t get everything right you get back in there and fix those problems and that’s what we are able to do with General Frewen. What I’m hoping for in the future, and I believe will be the case, is we are moving into a new period of opportunity.
Anthony Albanese is kicking off Election Day in Melbourne, giving a series of morning TV interviews from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Asked about polls and tonight’s result, he said the numbers “indicate a swing to Labor on primary votes”, before diving into a series of footy metaphors. He said:
I’ve said, throughout my time as Labor leader for three years, that we’d be kicking with the wind at our back in the fourth quarter.
I’m here at the MCG, the fourth quarter is what matters and I hope to finish ahead when the siren sounds at 6pm tonight.
Albanese added that the country could not afford three more years of the same, and urged voters to “give Labor a crack”.
Albanese will hold a media event this morning in the Liberal-held seat of Higgins, before returning to his home of Sydney to vote himself. He is expected to hold a press conference around midday.
You may have missed the result of two polls released late yesterday that pointed to a Labor win.
Polls from Roy Morgan and the Australian’s Newspoll released late on Friday showed a two-party-preferred vote of 53-47 in favour of the opposition – enough of a swing towards Labor for it to claim victory.
The Roy Morgan poll predicted Albanese would emerge from the election with a majority. The polling company warned, however, that the high level of support for minor parties and independents meant there was a strong chance its forecast majority win for Labor would not be confirmed tonight, as preferences were distributed and postal votes counted.
The two polls follow Guardian’s Essential polling on Wednesday pointing to a similarly slim but sufficient Labor lead.
Good morning all, I’m Nino Bucci and welcome to election day! It has been a marathon campaign, but we’re now in the stadium, completing the final lap.
Both candidates are starting the day in opposition territory: marginal seats they hope to win in order to become prime minister.
Scott Morrison is starting his day in Victoria, in the marginal seat of McEwen, which is held by Labor’s Rob Mitchell.
Anthony Albanese is also visiting polling booths in Victoria first up this morning, starting his day in the marginal seat of Higgins, which is held by the Liberal’s Katie Allen.
We are expecting both candidates to do a string of media interviews before most of you will be out of bed, so stay tuned for updates.