CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied on Monday that dismal poll results had influenced his election campaign attitude.
Morrison's government is reportedly trailing the opposition Labor Party in all opinion surveys ahead of Saturday's general elections. In the closing week of the campaign, facing election uncertainty, Morrison has changed to a gentler demeanour, promising to "empathise a lot more" if re-elected.
When asked if polls had affected the adjustment, Morrison flatly rejected it on Monday. "I'm simply telling it like it is. It has taken a lot of strength to get Australia through (the epidemic) over the previous three years, and we will continue to need that strength "He stated to reporters. "What will change in the coming few years is the growth of opportunities." According to polls, the Labor Party is on track to win up to 85 of the 151 seats in Parliament's lower chamber, giving it its first majority administration since 2010.
Morrison came under fire on Monday for his first-time house buyer affordability strategy. The prime minister declared at the Coalition's formal campaign launch on Sunday that if re-elected, the government will allow first-time home purchasers to utilise up to 40% of their retirement savings to pay for a house.
Labor's housing spokesman, Jason Clare, compared the programme to "putting kerosene on a blaze."