Frantic lap of the nation grinds to a halt

Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison have played a 100,000 kilometre game of tag through the five-week election campaign, focusing their efforts on that third of voters living in pivotal marginal seats across the country.

A breakdown of their travels since the election was called on April 11 reveals where both Labor and the Coalition believe they have chances to snatch seats from their opponents or have to protect a sitting MP.

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pays tribute to former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke by drinking a beer at the John Curtin Hotel in Melbourne on Friday. Picture: AAP

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pays tribute to former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke by drinking a beer at the John Curtin Hotel in Melbourne on Friday. Picture: AAP

The two leaders visited 75 of the nation's 151 electorates. Of those, 56 got a visit from both. These included Solomon in the Northern Territory, Lindsay and Reid in Sydney, Boothby in South Australia, Braddon in Tasmania and Corangamite on Victoria's surf coast.

Mr Morrison made a number of repeat visits on the last day of the campaign, heading through Leichhardt, Herbert and Flynn on his way home to Sydney.

Corangamite, which attracted the most promises of any seat from the Coalition, had several visits. This week, senior Labor frontbencher and rugby league fan Anthony Albanese was on hand for a promise to upgrade Kardinia Park, the home of AFL team Geelong.

Mr Morrison spent more days in NSW than any other state while Mr Shorten spent more in Victoria.

With independents a threat to the Coalition, Mr Morrison made unusual sweeps through Indi in Victoria, Farrer just over the border and Cowper on the NSW north coast. But he kept clear of Warringah, where former prime minister Tony Abbott faces a battle against independent Zali Steggall.

Mr Shorten made a quick trip into Macnamara, the old Melbourne Ports, where Labor faces a threat from the Greens. Another seat where the Greens could pose a risk to both Labor and the Liberals, Higgins, was hit by Labor senator Penny Wong on Friday morning.

Both leaders made it to Western Australia, where up to four seats are in play.

While many seats on slim margins got special attention, several others were missed. Mr Morrison did not campaign in Dawson, which LNP MP George Christensen holds by 3.4 per cent, while Mr Shorten failed to stump through Macquarie in Sydney, held by Susan Templeman on a 2.2 per cent margin.

The travels of the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader give insights into the respective campaign strategies of the major parties. So to do the odds offered by bookmakers.

They finished on Friday with Labor at $1.14 to win the election compared with $5.75 for the Coalition.

The favourite result at $2.75 is for Labor to win between 76 and 80 seats, with a $3 second-favourite bet for Labor to win between 81 and 85 seats.

Betting markets finished the campaign with Labor candidates ahead of their Coalition counterparts in 13 seats. These included Chisholm, Corangamite, Dunkley and La Trobe in Victoria, the NSW seats of Gilmore, Reid and Robertson while punters also believed Labor would take two seats in WA and the Queensland seat of Peter Dutton.

  • SMH/The Age
This story Frantic lap of the nation grinds to a halt first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.