2013 AU Election

Election Debates’ verdict: Rudd wins First Leaders’ Debate

Moderator David Speers at the start of the 2013 Australian Leaders' Debate

Moderator David Speers at the start of the 2013 Australian Leaders’ Debate

Election Debates has awarded the Australian Leaders’ Debate to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The panel considered Mr Rudd to have an advantage on argumentation, with a better grasp of detail and greater clarity about his overall approach to government.

Mr Abbott occasionally struggled for detail, most notably when asked to explain how he would bridge revenue shortfalls from the abolition of various taxes. Strangely, he also held back on attacking the government’s economic record, a key part of his overall premise that Australia’s problems can be addressed through a new government.

However, a majority of the panel felt that Mr Abbott did gain an advantage in manner. Mr Abbott’s presentation may have been more erratic at times, but in an overall sense it came across as more natural and genuine. Mr Rudd on the other hand was too scripted and rehearsed to convey any sense of warmth.

You can read the detailed analysis of each judge below.

Judge: Wayne Jocic | Winner: Kevin Rudd | Read full adjudication

Judge: Fenja Berglund | Winner: Kevin Rudd | Read full adjudication

Judge: Sam Greenland | Winner: Kevin Rudd | Read full adjudication

A reminder that judges are independent, and not affiliated with any political party. We seek to provide analysis of the debates that are grounded in the rules of debate. We appreciate that our readers may see things differently, and we welcome the debate, provided it is polite and constructive.

You can also check out our video archive referencing debates from across the world.

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