Australian Labor Party changes election campaign tactics

11:32, August 02, 2010      

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday vowed to take control of Labor's faltering election campaign, declaring she will "throw out the rule book" and show Australians who she really is.

The Prime Minister's change in campaign tactics came as Monday' s Newspoll in the Australian puts Labor and the Coalition neck and neck at 50 percent on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor's primary vote has now dropped to 37 percent and Greens preferences are likely to be crucial if the Australian Labor Party (ALP) is to hang on to power.

Speaking on the Nine Network Monday morning, Gillard said she was leaving behind the constraints of a traditional campaign and used a football analogy to make her point.

"There are times when the coach says to the players 'play safe, lock it down, short passes, keep possession of the ball'," Gillard told Nine Network.

"I think we've been playing our election campaign like that. But you see the best of the players when they're really going for it (and) I'm going to be really going for it now."

Gillard has promised to "lead from the front" to get out more among Australians rather than campaign through stage-managed events.

"I'm going to throw that rule book out and really get out there. Some days it'll go well, some days it'll go badly."

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said the election will come down to the wire and Labor is now the underdog.

"We're in for the fight of our life but it's a fight we have to win," Bowene told NewsRadio.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Gillard's change in tactics showed that the factions were controlling the campaign.

"And that's what Julia Gillard is now upset about but you can't change your nature with three weeks of the campaigning to go," Abbott told AM News and Current Affairs Radio.

Gillard is campaigning in Sydney on Monday and said she will be outlining a proposal which would see principals have more say over what goes on in their schools.

As the campaign entered its third week, Labor will be hoping to leave behind the events of last week which saw a damaging leak against Gillard and continued focus on former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Another report on Monday in the Australian Financial Review claimed that Gillard did not consult Cabinet before announcing plans for a citizens' assembly to consult on climate change.

Source: Xinhua


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