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Australian Prime Minister set to march in gay parade instead of attending crucial vote

Anthony Albanese Mardi Gras

Anthony Albanese will spend the night of a crucial Melbourne by-election in Sydney, where he is expected to march in the city’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for the second time as Australian Prime Minister.

On Wednesday Mr Albanese confirmed he would not be in the electorate of Dunkley while votes are tallied and results announced, and said he would celebrate his 61st birthday with family instead.

“I’ll wait and see whether we end up going there [Mardi Gras] or not,” Mr Albanese told Sky News when asked whether he would attend the parade.

“But it’s to be in back in Sydney so I can see my son because it’s my birthday.”

Labor is cautiously optimistic of retaining the seat despite being under pressure over Australia’s cost of living crisis, rising house prices, record high immigration and broken tax promises.

Dunkley, based around Frankston in Melbourne’s south-east was held by late Labor MP Peta Murphy and is considered a safe Labor seat with a margin of 6.3%.

Ms Murphy died of breast cancer in December last year, aged 50, and was succeeded as Labor candidate by Jodie Belyea.

Ms Belyea’s Liberal Party opponent Nathan Conroy this week refused to endorse an attack ad campaign funded to the tune of $300,000 by conservative lobby group Advance.

Mr Albanese claimed one ad highlighting his release of criminal asylum seekers was “misinformation” despite the fact that it contained nothing false, misleading or deceptive, and Mr Conroy responded by distancing himself from Advance and their campaign.

“I’ve no connections, or conversations personally with Advance. My campaign is a strong and positive campaign, no matter what anyone else does.” he said.

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