Scott Morrison has accused Anthony Albanese of being ‘a bit presumptuous’ after he declared he will have himself sworn in within hours if he wins the election.
After making the comments in an interview with The Australian, Mr Albanese was immediately accused of being too confident before polling day.
In 2019 Bill Shorten was mocked after his frontbenchers posted a picture of them posing in Canberra with the caption ‘we’re ready’ ahead of the election.
Mr Morrison referenced this as he attacked Mr Albanese over the revelation, saying: ‘He seems to think this election is already done, and we saw this last time, when we had the last election, do you remember?
‘We had Bill Shorten with the Addams family photo before the last election, all there pretending they were already in their jobs.
‘We are seeing a lot of that again from the Labor Party and when I was asked about this (the Quad meeting) the other day and I said I would not be presumptuous about that.’
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (right) and shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong at their campaign launch in Perth
Labor were accused of getting ahead of themselves in 2019 with this picture. Chris Bowen posted this Nine newspapers photograph of himself, Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong and Bill Shorten with the caption ‘we’re ready’
Defence Minister Peter Dutton blasted Mr Albanese on 2GB radio.
‘[This is] hubris writ large. Rather than taking people’s votes for granted, they should be getting their costings right,’ he said.
‘He’s taking a lot for granted. He think’s he’s got this in the bag already. He’s already packing his bags.’
Host Ben Fordham described Mr Albanese’s travel plans as a ‘very strange own-goal’ and said it sounded like he’s ‘got a bit of the Kevin 07’s’.
‘Anthony Albanese will put himself in front of Australians on Saturday and Australians will decide who the next prime minister is going to be,’ he said.
‘But in his mind he’s already thinking about going off to Tokyo and hanging out with those world leaders from Japan, India and the US.
‘And that’s what Kevin 07 suffered from. Always wanting to be on the international stage and forgetting about his home base.’
Anthony Albanese will have himself sworn in within hours if he wins the election, so he can attend an important meeting in Tokyo
Fordham asked Mr Dutton who he thought would step-up as acting prime minister in Mr Albanese’s absence.
‘Nobody can answer that,’ Mr Dutton replied.
‘It can’t be Richard Marles because he wouldn’t be sworn in, he wants to be defence minister but he won’t say that. He’s been running his speeches past the Chinese embassy and that’s never a good look.
‘I think the show unravels pretty quickly, and Anthony Albanese is obviously desperate to get on the plane and be photographed with Joe Biden.
‘And to have Penny Wong there walking alongside him. It’s a recipe for disaster.’
Mr Albanese accepted there would be little time to elect his ministers in Canberra if he plans to attend the meeting of world leaders.
Australian Minister of Defense Peter Dutton (pictured) blasted Mr Albanese for his comments
He said he hoped to represent Australia as prime minister at the Quad and would seek advice on the logistics with officials.
‘We are not pre-empting the outcome (of the election) but, clearly, we have been asked by Australian officials what our intention would be and we have indicated that if we are successful, the intention would be to go,’ he told The Australian.
Mr Albanese said he would ‘renew’ his acquaintance with US President Joe Biden and meet for the first time Japanese PM Fumio Kishida and Indian PM Narendra Modi.
He said he had received advice from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, that if successful he would be quickly sworn in so he could attend the meeting.
If the election result is indecisive on Saturday, Scott Morrison will remain prime minister until a new leader with majority support in the House of Representatives can be sworn in.
Mr Albanese said he will seek advice on sending a representative with Mr Morrison to the Quad meeting if the results are undecided.
It comes as a new poll just four days out from the federal election saw a dramatic shift in voter sentiment with the Liberal Party slowly gaining ground.
The party leaders are now neck and neck according to the latest Resolve poll as Australians gear up to head to the ballot box on Saturday.
Voters have eased back on their support for Labor over the last two weeks with the party’s primary vote dropping from 34 to 31 per cent, seemingly wiping away Anthony Albanese’s surge in appeal earlier in the campaign.
While the poll shows Mr Morrison’s focus on economic policy and an concerted effort to paint his government as stronger on national security is paying off with the Liberals going from 33 to 34 per cent.
The survey, conducted for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, shows that when preference votes are taken into account the Coalition is sitting at 49 per cent of the total vote and the ALP is at 51 per cent.
Interestingly, 34 per cent of all voters shunned a number one vote for the major parties, preferring to go with minor parties – most notable the Greens at 14 per cent.
One Nation saw a small rise from 5 to 6 per cent, while the United Australia Party dropped from 5 to 4 per cent.
Mr Morrison (pictured in a selfie with wife Jenny, their two daughters and dog) has taken a swipe at Mr Albanese