Who won Channel 9 leaders debate between Morrison and Albanese

Viewers of the second leaders’ debate have been left frustrated and confused after waiting for Nine’s panel to declare a winner.Viewers of the second leaders’ debate of the election campaign have been left frustrated and without a result after Nine’s two-hour broadcast failed to reveal a winner.Host 60 Minutes reporter Sarah Abo and panellists Nine radio’s Deborah Knight, Nine Newspapers chief political correspondent David Crowe and Nine’s political editor Chris Uhlmann filled in close to 40 minutes of airtime while awaiting results of an online poll conducted during the debate.Citing a poll of 19,000 viewers conducted over Nine’s website, Abo initially declared Prime Minister Scott Morrison the winner scoring 52 per cent of the vote, with 48 per cent backing Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s performance.The panel discussed the results, which they described as “not surprising” while referring to Mr Morrison’s “superiority” as a debater, before minutes later the results shifted.“We do have some breaking news,” Abo said. “We’ve had over 30,000 votes come in and it has now shifted. Anthony Albanese is now on 51 per cent and Scott Morrison on 49 per cent. “The numbers are coming in and climbing, people are persevering with the QR code, and it has flipped.”The result, however, was short-lived, with only minutes passing before the debate was declared “a dead heat” before the broadcast abruptly ended.“I have just had the numbers trickle through again and it is now a dead heat,” Abo said.“That is based on an excess of 30,000 votes. Thank you to you at home. That is where we will leave the 60 Minutes special event.”The confusing announcements came after viewers were already frustrated at technical issues affecting their ability to have their say online.Viewers were encouraged to scan a QR code to vote on the debate, but many were unable to enter a response to questions including who they would vote for, which party they thought would win, and who would make a better prime minister.Some who had clicked through from the QR code were greeted with a message saying “we are experiencing high volumes of traffic at the moment. Please bear with us and you will have the change to have your say”, while others entered their answers but were given an error message.Abo addressed the issue several times on air, asking the audience to “please be patient”, and attempted to put a positive spin on the issue later in the program saying “it shows the audience is engaged and we thank you for that. Do keep trying, because you will get through.”Before the disappointing declaration, Abo revealed the results of an online poll conducted during the heated debate where 50,000 votes were asked on the question “Who do you thing would make the better Prime Minister?”, Mr Albanese came out in front with 49 per cent, compared to 45 per cent for Mr Morrison and 6 per cent who said they were undecided. Aside from questions of policy – and accusations from Mr Morrison that the Labor Party had a lack of policy – much of the debate centred on character and whether both candidates were trustworthy and honest.Uhlmann got straight to the point when he asked, “Scott Morrison, you say people know you and they clearly do, so why don’t they trust you?”After a gaff-prone run as PM with missteps ranging from holidaying in Hawaii during the devastating 2019 bushfires to suggesting it was a triumph that protesters during the March 4 Justice rally outside Parliament House were not “met with bullets”, Mr Morrison defended his past record.“People would have disagreed with many things I did and would have a different view about how things might have been managed,” the Prime Minister said.“So I can understand the hurt and the feelings that people have had coming out of a time like this. That can lead them to feel bad about the government and bad about their leaders as we have seen in many places around the world, so I understand that. “What I do say to those Australians is that you have seen what we have achieved together, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates this country has ever seen.”Pushing the point further, Crowe said the Labor Party’s campaign had been focusing on the fact this sentiment existed. “As they would say, it is the people who know you best, Barnaby Joyce, Gladys Berejiklian, and even Emmanuel Macron, people who have questioned your honesty,” he said.Mr Morrison replied, “From time to time, I will disagree with people and they won’t agree with the position I am taking, whether deciding to put the national interest first and not by the French submarines.”Turning the tables on Mr Albanese, Knight said: “Mr Albanese, you have been in the public eye for almost three decades now in parliament, but a lot of people still say they don’t know you and don’t know what you stand for. “Has making yourself a small target in this campaign backfired?”Mr Albanese replied, “I think Australians know what I stand for. I had the same values my entire life. The values of supporting a fair days pay for a work. “The values of supporting essential universal services, such as Medicare, supporting universal superannuation, now we want to extend that.”Shouldn’t a leader unite not divide?Taking aim at Mr Morrison, Knight asked: Deb Knight asked, “The hard truth is, a lot of people don’t like you and Chris refer to the comments of those on your own side, ‘hypocrite’ ‘liar’ and ‘horrible person’, shouldn’t a leader unite and not divide?”Mr Morrison replied, “I am the first Prime Minister to face an election after having been elected for the first time three years ago. “When I became Prime Minister, our party needed to be united and that is what I have done. “We have not seen the revolving door under my leadership. “I brought my party together, brought my Coalition together, brought my Coalition together by getting to net zero by 2050, that is something that took a lot of leadership to bring my party together in the unity.”Host Sarah Abo said, “The truth is, the voters are feeling disenchanted. Neither of them are thrilled with either of you as a choice for prime ministers.“We know more than a quarter of the voters out there are undecided, and you have been campaigning for four weeks, have you not convinced them you are the one to be re-elected?” host Sarah Abo said.“You are right, there is a choice in elections – (elections) are a choice. It is a choice not whether you like someone or don’t like someone, it is a choice about who you think has the economic plan and the strength to lead the country at a time which is almost unprecedented in the times of the Second World War and the Great Depression,” Scott Morrison said.Posing the same question to Mr Albanese, Abo asked: “Do you think you have done enough in the four weeks you have been campaigning?”“To go back to your original question, Australians are disillusioned with the political system,” he said. “We all need to do better. It is one of the reasons why we need a National Anti-Corruption Commission, to restore faith. “We have a series of plans for cheaper childcare, more secure work, for addressing climate change as the opportunity it is, a range of policies we will continue to put forward and the Australian people will decide. “Starting tomorrow. Our democracy is precious and we need to evaluate. We need to make sure that Australians can have faith in it and that is why we need to do whatever we can to create institutions and structures that enhance that faith in our political system.”Originally published as Who won Channel 9 leaders debate between Morrison and Albanese