DIGEST

The Informer: Over the halfway mark, the election hits silly season

Anthony Albanese with Gabrielle Nina Ritchie, four months old. Picture: Steve Evans
Anthony Albanese with Gabrielle Nina Ritchie, four months old. Picture: Steve Evans

Our political leaders are becoming even more ridiculous as the finish line to the election nears.

Is the Coalition feeling the pressure ahead of tomorrow night's third leaders' debate? It's likely, particularly given the last two didn't provide Prime Minister Scott Morrison with the clear advantage he'd been hoping for over Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.

For some reason, the trans community is again the target of political commentary as the Prime Minister backs Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves walking back her apology for transgender comments.

"I have no regrets in selecting, together with the Premier, a strong woman who wanted to run and represent the Liberal Party at this federal election," Mr Morrison said.

"Not everybody might agree with her point of view, I wouldn't think everybody would agree with everything I have to say either, but I was very determined to ensure that I would have more female members representing the Liberal party."

Further to this, the Prime Minister has doubled down on ICAC attacks, lashing out at critics of his stance saying he doesn't care what lawyers think and suggesting federal bureaucrats are less exposed to corruption than state public servants.

Last week Mr Morrison described the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption as a "kangaroo court", as Labor and independents make promises of a stronger integrity agency for the federal government.

"I have serious criticisms of the NSW ICAC model, I've never been a fan of how it's conducted itself," the PM said on Tuesday.

"And I don't care barristers and lawyers and others up there in Macquarie Street - I don't mean in the Parliament, I mean sitting around in the barristers' chambers - disagree with me.

"They disagree with me all the time. I've never had much truck with them over the course of my entire political career."

In Labor leader Anthony Albanese's camp, promises are being flung left right and centre to marginal seats such as a $200 million upgrade to Flinders Medical Centre in the Adelaide marginal seat of Boothby on Monday.

On today's list for Labor visits was Chisholm in Melbourne, as Mr Albanese promised $2.2 billion to fund the city's suburban rail network, before an advantageous photo opportunity with a baby.

Underlying all these attempts at positive press is the recent polls showing Labor's lead strengthening as experts, members of the public and journalists all wonder if the party can sustain it - particularly after the 2019 election.

All in all, it will set up the remaining eleven days of campaigning to get more frantic as Labor and Liberal leaders fight for the leadership.

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This story Election antics get increasingly frantic first appeared on The Canberra Times.