Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison waves to party faithful during the Liberal Party campaign launch at the Brisbane Convention Centre in Brisbane, Australia on May 15, 2022. (MICK TSIKAS / AAP IMAGE VIA AP)
CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied his change in attitude on the election campaign trail has been driven by poor poll results.
With the general elections to be held on Saturday, Morrison's governing Coalition trails the opposition Labor Party in all opinion polls.
Facing election uncertainty, Morrison has shifted towards a softer persona in the final week of the campaign, promising to "empathize a lot more" if given a second term in office.
I'm just being honest with people. Over the last three years, it's required a lot of strength to take Australia through (the pandemic) and we are continuing to need that strength ... But what will change in the next few years is opportunities will increase.
Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister
Asked about whether polls had influenced the change, Morrison on Monday denied the suggestion.
"I'm just being honest with people. Over the last three years, it's required a lot of strength to take Australia through (the pandemic) and we are continuing to need that strength," he told Seven Network television.
"But what will change in the next few years is opportunities will increase."
According to polls, the Labor Party is set to win up to 85 out of 151 seats in the lower house of Parliament and form a majority government for the first time since 2010.
Morrison on Monday faced criticism over his first home buyer affordability policy.
Speaking at the Coalition's official campaign launch on Sunday, the prime minister announced if re-elected the government would allow first home buyers to access up to 40 percent of their retirement fund to pay for a house.
Experts, including Superannuation Minister Jane Hume, have said the policy would drive property prices up further.
Jason Clare, Labor's housing spokesman, described the policy as "throwing kerosene on a bonfire."