A week out from the Federal Election and there’s still no sign of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese in Lindsay.
Lindsay is traditionally an election battleground and the absence of the Labor leader during the campaign is curious.
Mr Albanese hasn’t been in Lindsay in any official capacity since last year.
In contrast, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has visited the electorate several times both in the pre-campaign and during the official election campaign, which began last month.
The Coalition has also rolled out several high profile ministers to Lindsay, including outgoing Health Minister Greg Hunt and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
But things have been quiet on the Labor front, with Linda Burney’s visit to make a health announcement earlier this week the only notable senior Labor visit of the campaign, outside of Chris Bowen attending Lindsay Candidate Trevor Ross’ local campaign launch.
While leadership visits are not a given during a campaign they’re seen as a huge show of support to the local candidate and add a motivational boost to the campaign and its volunteers.
It would be highly unusual for an Opposition Leader to go through an entire election campaign without visiting Lindsay, traditionally a swing seat that over its history has primarily been held by the government of the day.
Bill Shorten made a memorable visit to the area during the 2019 campaign – ironically bringing Mr Albanese with him to support then-candidate Diane Beamer – where he spoke to local cancer patients and made a major health announcement.
Lindsay is currently held by the Liberal Party’s Melissa McIntosh by a margin of five per cent.
A poll in News Corp papers this week suggested the seat was “too close to call”.
Labor Candidate Trevor Ross was contacted for comment.
A Labor campaign spokesperson said that the Opposition Leader had visited the electorate.
“Anthony Albanese has visited Lindsay with Trevor Ross – in fact, he made announcing Trevor’s candidacy an early priority,” the spokesperson said.
“Trevor is an outstanding Labor Candidate and will make a far better Member for Lindsay than Melissa McIntosh has been.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.