Airdate: The People’s Forum with Tony Abbott

SKYNews_DavidSpeersThe first People’s Forum for the 2013 Federal Election campaign will air on SKY News next Thursday with Tony Abbott in Geelong.

David Speers will host this event at the Geelong RSL Live with questions from undecided voters chosen by Galaxy Research from the Corangamite electorate.

“The great thing about these forums is their unpredictability. Issues can come up that aren’t on the radar and so we can see a political leader taken out of their comfort zone. It’s also much harder for a politician to brush off a question when it’s coming from a legitimately concerned voter standing right in front of them,” said Speers.

Julia Gillard has been invited to take part in a second forum.

Geelong is a city and region in transformation with traditional manufacturing under pressure while industries like education are on the rise.

The region is home to the nation’s most marginal seat, Corangamite, which includes the southern suburbs of Geelong, the Surf Coast and stretches inland to Colac. It will be a key battleground in the Federal election.

News Limited’s Victorian Managing Director – Editorial, Peter Blunden, said: “Both the Herald Sun and Geelong Advertiser are committed to giving readers the best access to both parties in the lead up to the September poll. Not only will some of Geelong’s undecided voters get to ask the Liberal leader their burning questions, all Victorians will get the chance to watch the event unfold live. And over the next week, our combined readers – numbering more than two million Victorians –will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas on the biggest issues facing our state.”

Before the forum, David will anchor PM Agenda Live from the venue at 4pm. Joining him on the panel will be Geelong
Advertiser Political Reporter Cameron Best and Herald Sun National Political Editor Phil Hudson to discuss the key issues for the area ahead of the forum.

Following the forum, David will appear on Paul Murray Live from 9pm to discuss the issues raised and Mr Abbott’s

Comprehensive coverage of the event will be published across all platforms of the Herald Sun, Geelong Advertiser and on Friday April 19.

This forum is the first in a series of events to come during the 2013 Election campaign.

7.30pm on Thursday April 18 SKY News National, channel 601.


  1. I really dont see the point sky news is so biased in their political reporting , this is just going to be a love fest with tony abbott. News limited and the sky news channel have made it very clear which side of politics they are backing .. I definately will not be watching . Too biased and staged for me .

  2. At first I thought this was a snub to the ABC but it now seems that it is a training run for Abbott : a small, pre-screened, non hostile audience in a regional area, limited viewer audience on a cable channel (what would you estimate 200,000 max ?), friendly,nonthreatening but eminently competent moderator. If Tony can handle this his minders may take off the training wheels and allow him to appear before a national audience on the public broadcaster
    Watch this space.

  3. I was contacted by the research company on Thursday as I’m registered with them for market research – usually things like taste tests of new products. I had to answer who I would vote for if there was an election today and then whether my vote was locked in or open to change. Based on those answers, I met their criteria as an undecided voter and am attending on the forum. I’ve been told I am free to ask a question but don’t have to and haven’t been given any sort of script – I just turn up on the night and get soft drink and nibblies.

    Obviously I can’t speak for anyone else attending but that’s been my experience with this so far.

  4. “questions from undecided voters chosen by Galaxy Research from the Corangamite electorate.”

    Code for, people who will go easy on him and make him look like the smartest person in the room.

  5. I’ll never understand the “undecideds”.

    As for Speers saying “It’s also much harder for a politician to brush off a question when it’s coming from a legitimately concerned voter standing right in front of them”; Gillard and her cabinet are currently doing that pretty much every six weeks at their Community Cabinets. (Ringwood, Vic, on Wednesday is your next chance).

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