Anthony Albanese has admitted he made a mistake when he failed to correctly state what the official interest rate and unemployment rate were during a press conference.
The Labor leader was campaigning in the seat of Bass in northern Tasmania, one of the most marginal seats in the country, where he outlined funding for care for children with hearing loss.
However, when asked in a press conference about the official interest rate and the national unemployment figures, he was unable to answer.
"The national unemployment rate at the moment is, I think it's 5.4 (per cent), sorry, I'm not sure what it is," he told reporters in Launceston.
The latest unemployment figure is four per cent, while the official interest rate is 0.1 per cent and has not changed since November 2020.
Labor's campaign spokeswoman, Senator Katy Gallagher, did provide the correct figures when asked moments after the Opposition leader was questioned.
Speaking later while in Devonport in the nearby seat of Braddon, Mr Albanese owned up to the error.
"I made a mistake, I'm human. But when I make a mistake, I'll fess up to it, and I'll set about correcting that mistake," he said.
"I won't blame someone else, I'll accept responsibility. That's what leaders do."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was able to state what both economic figures were when he was asked at a press conference while campaigning in the seat of Gilmore on the NSW south coast.
"0.1 per cent is the cash rate, it's been there for some time. The unemployment rate, I'm happy to say is four per cent, falling to a 50-year low," he said.
"It came down from 5.7 per cent when we were first elected."
Liberal campaign spokesman Simon Birmingham pounced on the slip-up by Mr Albanese.
"If you don't know what the interest rate is, you can't be trusted to put the right policies in place to keep them low," he said.
"If you don't know what the unemployment rate is, you can't be trusted to keep Australians in jobs."
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek dismissed the campaign blunder.
"An election is not a test of memory, it is a test of leadership," she said.
"Anthony Albanese is out there every day talking to Australians about how their lives can be better."
The Labor leader was also heckled by members of the public during his visit to Devonport.
One resident heckled Mr Albanese about the late Victoran Labor senator Kimberley Kitching.
While campaigning in Gilmore, Mr Morrison has been attempting to spruik the government's economic credentials.
Despite being behind in the polls for much of the parliamentary term, Mr Morrison said the coalition's results spoke for themselves.
"This election on May 21 is all about a choice, elections are always about choices," he said.
"It's a choice between the strong economic management and the strong financial management that has ensured Australia has been able to come through this pandemic ... that contrasts to a Labor opposition who Australians know can't be trusted to manage money".
Mr Morrison was also met with protesters in Gilmore, who were wearing Hawaiian shirts and playing the ukulele.
One protester said they wanted to let the prime minister know about issues in the electorate.
"This was an opportunity to let him know that we're not happy with his leadership and things need to change and we can't really see that happening with this current leadership," they told AAP.
It comes as the latest Newspoll shows the coalition narrowing the gap with Labor on two-party preferred, but the opposition are still ahead 53-47.
The coalition's primary vote remains on 36 per cent, while Labor's primary vote has dropped by one point to 37 per cent.
Mr Morrison has also pulled ahead of Mr Albanese as preferred prime minister.
Australian Associated Press
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