Both parties 'Labor' the point in mirror-image campaign

In weeks spent campaigning on their very different visions for Australia, Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten have used the same word more than any other: Labor.

Analysis by Streem examined quotes by both party leaders as reported in print and online publications during the first four weeks of the campaign.

The top four recurring words - once small grammatical necessities such as ‘the’ were removed - were the same for both leaders: Labor, government, people and Australia.

Both ‘Shorten’ and ‘Bill’ also appeared in Mr Morrison’s top 10 words, alongside his favoured topic of the ‘economy’.

For Mr Shorten, ‘change’, ‘cost’ and ‘tax’ all featured above ‘Morrison’ in 10th.

Further analysis found Mr Morrison has been 71 per cent more likely to mention the opposing party, and 40 per cent more likely to name his opponent for prime minister.

“The data suggests this election is predominantly a referendum on Labor’s policy agenda,” Streem’s media and partnership lead Conal Hanna said.

“Both Labor and the Coalition are primarily talking about what a Labor government would do. Of course, they have very different takes on the potential ramifications.”

Both leaders have also used preference deals with minor parties as lines of attack on their opponent.

Mr Morrison was 4.5 times more likely than Mr Shorten to mention the Greens, while the Labor leader was nearly twice as likely to raise Clive Palmer.

When it came to discussing policy, both leaders were most likely to be quoted talking about the economy but there were significant differences after that.

Priority campaign topics for both parties

The results suggest Mr Shorten is more closely aligned to voters’ concerns, as identified by Roy Morgan polling conducted by the Australian Futures Project.

The top five voter concerns identified were cost of living, health services, open and accountable government, climate change and managing the economy. Mr Shorten had four of those in his top five talking points, compared to three for Mr Morrison.

But apart from the economy, none of the individual issues were spoken about by Mr Morrison as frequently as Labor or Bill Shorten.

Scott Morrison word cloud\ (The bigger the word the more frequently he has used it)

Scott Morrison campaign word cloud

Bill Shorten word cloud

Bill Shorten campaign word cloud

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