Victorian election 2022 LIVE updates: Daniel Andrews, Matthew Guy trade barbs in final week of campaign; Labor, Coalition neck-and-neck as pre-polling surpasses 1 million

Key posts

  • Pre-polling surpasses 1 million
  • Labor, Coalition neck-and-neck as gap narrows between Andrews and Guy
  • Why Albanese isn’t campaigning with Andrews
  • The campaign so far
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Pre-polling surpasses 1 million

More than 1 million Victorians have now filled out their ballot papers ahead of Saturday’s election.

The latest count from the Victorian Electoral Commission has early votes sitting at 984,179. More than 47,000 postal votes have also been returned.

The VEC expects more than half of registered voters to fill out their ballots before Saturday.

Labor, Coalition neck-and-neck as gap narrows between Andrews and Guy

Voters have significantly cut their support for the Labor government before Saturday’s state election, according to fresh polling that shows the major parties neck-and-neck on primary votes and Daniel Andrews losing ground to Matthew Guy as preferred premier.

An exclusive survey conducted by Resolve Strategic for The Age shows that, as the campaign enters its final days, the gap between the parties has dwindled. Labor’s primary vote has fallen by 7 percentage points since the last election to 36 per cent – making it level with the Coalition.

Since Resolve’s last poll, conducted in late October, the Coalition’s primary vote has risen 5 percentage points from 31 per cent, while Labor’s primary vote, which was at 38 per cent, has dropped by 2 percentage points.

The gap between the major parties has also narrowed in two-party preferred terms.

More on the polling here.

Why Albanese isn’t campaigning with Andrews

It wasn’t a rally, it wasn’t a campaign doorstop and it certainly wasn’t before cameras, microphones or journalists.

When Anthony Albanese finally appeared alongside Daniel Andrews during the Victorian election campaign on Monday, it was at a small private event at a suburban bowling club in Port Melbourne, with local candidates and a small gathering of state Labor volunteers. Unusually, journalists were not alerted to the event.

Anthony Albanese has been an absent figure in Daniel Andrews’ campaign.Credit:Marija Ercegovac

The prime minister’s absence from the state campaign stands in stark contrast to the devastating political hit Andrews delivered to Scott Morrison — standing shoulder to shoulder with Albanese — at a joint event in suburban Box Hill, in the federal seat of Chisholm, during the May federal election.

“Every federal dollar that Victorians get from the miserable Morrison government, it’s as though we should, we ought to bow our head and treat it like it’s foreign aid,” Andrews thundered at the time, two weeks before the seat fell to Labor.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, who is not a popular figure in Victoria, has also been absent from the campaign.

But the absence of Albanese, a recently elected popular prime minister, is curious when Andrews is battling against a two-term record of incumbency, pandemic fatigue and rising unpopularity.

Read the full piece here.

The campaign so far

Good morning, and thanks for reading our live coverage of the final week of the Victorian election campaign.

There’s just four days to go until polling day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • The election watchdog has declared that the poll for the lower house district of Narracan, in Victoria’s east, has “failed” due to the death of Nationals candidate Shaun Gilchrist. A special election for that seat will be held at a later date. As Rachel Eddie has written, locals must still cast their ballots for the upper house by Saturday, however.
  • Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday promised to spend $30 million on small-scale producers and farmers if Labor is re-elected on Saturday. The package would include grants for aspiring gin and whisky distillers.
  • Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has released what he’s described as the most comprehensive policy agenda any opposition has ever brought to a Victorian election. “Please give us your trust,” he told undecided voters during yesterday’s press conference.
  • The Liberal Party has put flyers in Hawthorn and Kew letterboxes saying a vote for a teal independent candidate is a vote to re-elect the Andrews government. The teals say the Liberals only have themselves to blame if they don’t win government on Saturday.
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