Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Chris Kidd
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Picture: Chris Kidd

PM’s brief visit ahead of crucial by-election

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull will touch down in Longman today for one final campaign push - but will be absent from Queensland on the day of the by-election.

It comes as Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said he could "absolutely" guarantee he would not challenge Opposition Leader Bill Shorten if the party suffered losses this weekend.

The major parties have launched a final massive advertising blitz in the final days of the Longman campaign, which remains on a knife edge.

The LNP is continuing its focus on Mr Shorten as Labor's Achilles heel, while the Opposition is doubling down on its claims of health cuts for the region in a series of television ads.

When Mr Turnbull arrives today he is expected to push the party's message that a vote for Labor candidate Susan Lamb is a vote for Mr Shorten.

The final batch of Labor ads similarly focus on the Prime Minister, while only mentioning LNP candidate Trevor Ruthenberg once.

While Mr Turnbull is not expected to attend any of the five electorates holding by-elections on Saturday, Mr Shorten is expected to be in Longman for part of the day.

Labor’s candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Labor’s candidate for Longman Susan Lamb. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Mr Albanese was yesterday forced to fend off further leadership speculation, as Labor risks being the first Opposition to lose seats in a by-election for almost 100 years.

"The only thing I'm interested in is being a Minister in a Labor government - it will be led by Bill Shorten, that's my only priority, my only concern and Labor's not talking about internals," Mr Albanese said.

LNP candidate for Longman Trevor Ruthenberg. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
LNP candidate for Longman Trevor Ruthenberg. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The advertising splurge will be spurred on by the almost $1 million donated to political parties in Queensland since the High Court decision on May 8 which sparked the super Saturday of by-elections.

However, just $8000 has come from within Longman.

According to Electoral Commission of Queensland data, of the $948,000 donated, $428,879 went to the LNP and $466,175 went to Labor while the rest went to smaller parties, including $1000 to One Nation.

Just $668,000 was donated during the same period last year.

Not all of the money is for Longman campaign and the funds include people donating prior to the end of the financial year.



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