The Coalition will not strike any deals with a host of independents targeting moderate Liberal seats, the Prime Minister says, just a day after evading questions on the issue.
During a whirlwind tour to the battleground state on Western Australia, Scott Morrison had left the door open to negotiations with the so-called teal independents - a group of candidates making climate action and integrity in politics their central issue.
But with polling suggesting Australia could be on course for a hung parliament, Mr Morrison on Tuesday ruled out a deal.
He urged Australians to opt for a majority government, after a three-year term wracked by COVID-19 and natural disasters, warning a minority would come with "real consequences".
"A vote for independents ... is about uncertainty and instability in incredibly uncertain times," Mr Morrison said.
"It's the Forrest Gump principle: you just never know what you're going to get."
The comments echoed criticisms Mr Morrison has aired throughout the campaign, but went further than Monday, when he refused to rule out a deal.
NewsPoll shows Australians abandoning the major parties at record numbers, with almost 30 per cent saying they would vote for a minor party or independent.
A host of moderate Liberal MPs in inner-city seats - including Dave Sharma, Trent Zimmerman, and Tim Wilson - face stiff competition from independent challengers.
The independents, backed by pro-climate action group Climate 200, have made the Coalition's broken promise to implement a federal anti-corruption commission, and inertia on climate change, central to their push.
Mr Morrison hoped the May 21 poll would not produce three years of horse-trading.
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