Kevin Rudd has confronted a forthright and critical audience on the ABC’s Q&A program tonight in what was most likely one of his last set piece performances as prime minister.
Rudd faced some severe questioning on issues such as election promises, nurses, Newstart for single parents, gay marriage, superannuation, education funding and the state of the economy.
One questioner wanted to know whether Rudd would create a by-election in his seat of Griffith if he loses Saturday’s election but the prime minister would not accept the bait and refused to make any commitments based on an assumption of losing.
Rudd came to life in the latter stages of the program, providing crisper responses to questions and receiving applause for his spirited enunciation of Labor values. Earlier, audience members had questioned his commitment to policies on climate change and asylum seekers. The question of trust and conviction seemed at the heart of many questions.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott refused an invitation to appear with Rudd. The program’s host, Tony Jones, said an offer for Abbott to appear on his own on any night this week was still open.
- Listen to Q&A (71m)
- Watch Rudd’s response to a question on same sex marriage (4m)