(CU)_This gentleman is one of Australia’s longest-serving politicians who is looking to form the first Labor government in almost a decade in the upcoming election on the 21st. The 59-year-old, nicknamed ‘Albo’, has managed to gain favour among voters according to opinion polls, although some may say these figures cannot be fully relied upon, particularly after Prime Minister Scott Morrison prove them to be inaccurate in the last election.
The Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, who has been member of parliament since 1996, has earned a reputation as a defender of Australia’s free healthcare system and an advocate for the LGBT community. Raised by a single mother on a disability pension, Albanese describes his upbringing as the foundation for his progressive beliefs. He says his mother Maryanne Ellery was determined he had opportunities which she never did and supported him in becoming the first his family to go to university.
Having worked in both state and federal politics, Albanese was elected to division of Grayndler, in the state of New South Wales, on his 33rd birthday in 1996. Just over a decade later, he was appointed as the minister for infrastructure and transport after the Labour Party swept to power under the leadership of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. As the party entered a tumultuous period after it was forced to replace then-Prime Minister Rudd with Julia Gillard in 2010, Albanese managed to remain an influential figure in federal politics. When Rudd reclaimed the premiership in 2013, Albanese was elevated to deputy prime minister, although this was short-lived as Labor lost an election just 10 weeks later.
After his rival Bill Shorten unsuccessfully contested two elections, despite having more support among MPs, Albanese was chosen as party leader in 2019. Over the years, Albanese has stayed true to his Labor roots, with promises to reinvigorate Australia’s manufacturing industry, improve gender pay equity, provide cheaper childcare and spend big on improving the troubled aged care sector.
Blaming the Morrison administration for the ongoing cost of living crisis, Albanese tells voters he understands their pain. With his time as Opposition Leader being dominated by COVID-19, the Labour Leader has also sought to capitalise on PM Morrison’s pandemic response and perceived unpopularity. As scandals and policy failures plagued the Morrison government, Albanese is staging what has been widely perceived as a “small target” campaign, with modest policies that are harder to criticize, thereby increasing pressure on the incumbent.