The end of another day. I believe it was day 18. What happened?
- last night's community forum gave Labor leader Kevin Rudd a spring in his step (let's stop pretending anyone 'won');
- it was judged such a success that both Mr Rudd and Coalition leader Tony Abbott will participate in another forum next week;
- Mr Rudd spent the day in Victoria prosecuting his case against the Coalition's paid parental leave scheme;
- Mr Abbott spent the day in Sydney where he announced the Coalition's $340 million health policy; and
- Mr Abbott also announced that the Liberal Party will no longer accept donations from tobacco companies.
My thanks to everyone who has read, commented and participated in our live coverage of the campaign so far. It is really a lot of fun to bring it to you. I am so impressed by my co pilots Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen - not a single day off for either of them and still bringing us the best campaign images.
See you in the morning.
Both Team Rudd and Team Abbott have upped stumps for the day.
Right, so, we all know Labor wants the Coalition to release its policy costings quick smart while the Coalition says they will be released some time before the campaign ends.
A leading economist, Saul Eslake, has had a look at the figures the Coalition has released so far to estimate the gap between its spends and saves.
His verdict? The Coalition needs to find almost $30 billion more over the four financial years to 2016-17 in order to be able to credibly claim that it would produce better bottom line outcomes than the ones projected by Treasury and the Department of Finance.
However, as Mr Eslake, the chief Australian economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says, $30 billion is a "substantial sum" but less the half than the $70 billion figure that has been bandied about by Labor.
My hard hat is better than yours.
Kevin Rudd is serious when he says he wants to be the kind of prime minister who builds things.Back to top
It's a high vis vest and hard hat kind of day.
I love it when Alex Ellinghausen groups his photographs.
This campaign has certainly got a well established rhythm - busy, busy, busy until a bit after lunch and then quiet.
In the meantime both leaders have called for an investigation into reports Syria's Assad regime used nerve gas in bombing civilian neighbourhoods in the country's ongoing conflict.
Enough with the kisses. Stop the kisses.
Here is the photo gallery for day 17 (yesterday) of the campaign.Back to top
More on the Palmer/Brough/Slipper/Hockey/Ashby story (see 1.14pm post).
Mr Brough has denied Mr Palmer's allegation that he asked for money for a campaign to destroy Peter Slipper.
I know you have been hanging out for this all day. Yes, that's right, the full video of last night's community forum is now available.
You can watch it here.
Second leaders' debate: in full
Watch the full Sky News People's Forum between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott at the Broncos Leagues Club in Brisbane. Courtesy Sky News.
It must be former prime ministers' day.
Earlier (10.52am post) it was John Howard's turn.
Now Bob Hawke is campaigning with Education Minister Bill Shorten.
Mr Hawke was asked if Mr Shorten was leadership material.
"He's got a good understanding of the whole legal framework of our society. He did a magnificent job in the union movement," Mr Hawke says.
"The answer is obviously yes. The truth is that Bill has had a longer experience in the Labor movement, the trade union movement."
Mr Hawke says time had given Mr Shorten more experience dealing with individuals so "that would mean, I think, that his relations with his colleagues will always be easy".
Coalition leader Tony Abbott has made it home (his Sydney seat of Warringah) for the first time in the campaign.
He visited the Manly Women's Shelter to donate $140,000 which he raised on this year's Pollie Pedal.
(Mr Abbott's team members also showed up. In lycra. Was that really necessary?)
Can we all agree this is an acceptable political kiss?Back to top
And in today's instalment of 'things-I-should-have-brought-you-earlier'.
Before filing that story Mark also wrote his weekly column about Labor's decision to change the fringe benefit tax arrangement for cars.
The Age's political editor, Michael Gordon, writes about Labor's decision to send unaccompanied children to Manus Island as part of its new immigration resettlement policy.
Last but not least - is the WikiLeaks Party imploding? Julian Assange says no although the person who was his running mate on the party's Victorian Senate ticket quit yesterday saying the party was not quite as democratic as she originally thought.
A couple of tobacco related stories.
Breaking news reporter Daniel Hurst has filed this story about Coalition leader Tony Abbott's announcement that the Liberal Party will no longer accept donations from tobacco companies.
Chief political correspondent Mark Kenny writes that a re-elected Labor government would freeze out tobacco companies from the political process and phase out investment in cigarette firms by public sector superannuation funds.
Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer has claimed former Howard government minister and Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough asked him for money to fund a campaign to destroy Peter Slipper's reputation.
Mr Palmer made the allegation at a press conference a short time ago where he said he needed to clear Coalition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey of any involvement in the affair.
Mr Palmer's statements follow contrasting claims about a discussion he had with Mr Bough and Mr Hockey at a meeting at Mr Palmer's Sunshine Coast resort.
Mr Brough has previously denied the claim but has been approached again for comment.
At about this time yesterday Labor's money ministers, Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong, were spruiking a new campaign website which they said was "a snapshot of the cuts we know Tony Abbott plans to make should he be elected".
Such a big claim was enough to interest economics correspondent Peter Martin who has devoted today's Fact Checker segment to it. You can read his findings here.
Or watch him explain them in a video interview below.
Labor's attack web site
Labor launches a web site targeting Tony Abbott , but does its claims stand up to Peter Martin's scrutiny?
I've spoken to Alex Ellinghausen - he says there were not one but two kisses.Back to top