With 18 days to go and the polls tightening, attention turns to who the major parties hope will get them across the line. All the day’s events, live

Will section 44 haunt the 46th parliament?

Probably. Paul Karp has had a look at whether the preference flow from ineligible candidates will prove a problem:

After a spate of resignations and disqualifications in the 45th parliament, the joint standing committee on electoral matters studied reform options for section 44, which disqualifies dual citizens and undischarged bankrupts, among others, from sitting in parliament.

In its report the committee warned that the presence of ineligible candidates on the ballot creates potential that “a successful candidate could have their election challenged on the basis of preference flows from an ineligible candidate”.


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Over on Sky, Simon Birmingham maintained the line that Scott Morrison emerged victorious in last night’s first leaders’ debate, despite the studio audience handing it convincingly to Bill Shorten (25 to Shorten, 12 to Morrison, 11 undecided)


A studio audience of 48 people is hardly a scientific sample. I think what anybody who was objectively watching the whole show last night would have seen was Bill Shorten refused to answer detailed questions. When presented with detailed questions about what the cost of change is, he doesn’t answer those. When asked what the detail is around his tax policies he won’t detail it, in fact he misleads and he misled again in regards to pensioners last night and retirees. When asked about the cost of his higher emission reduction targets, he again obfuscates and dodges on that and that is really what this campaign is really crying out for.

We went through an exhausted process, back four years or so ago, in terms of setting those targets, that was a very exhausted process informed by Treasury and other advice, to really get the right spot in terms of what we think is a high ambition target, 26% reduction by GDP, by per capita standards amongst the highest in the world, but also economic responsible. Bill Shorten is the one coming to this election proposing to double that and not actually telling us what the consequence of that change will be.

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