Shorten 'Turned This Election Campaign On Its Ear': Steve Price

Bill Shorten's emotional response to a News Corp hit piece on his late mother may have just won him the election, speculated Steve Price.

Speaking to The Project on Wednesday night, Price said Shorten "probably turned an election campaign on a tear".

Earlier that day, a visibly emotional Shorten had fought back tears while defending his late mum's legacy from a front-page 'hit' piece published in the Daily Telegraph and Courier Mail.

bill shorten mum
Bill Shorten fights back tears while speaking about his late mother, who died in 2014. Photo: AAP.

"You can understand why he's completely angry," Price said.

"No one's mother, dead or alive, should be dragged into a political campaign. I think Bill Shorten today showed true emotion, and I think he's probably turned this election campaign on its ear."

Shorten had spoken movingly about his mum's dreams of being a lawyer thwarted by her working class background on Q&A this week.

On Wednesday, News Corp published a "gotcha" piece accusing Shorten of omitting a "vital" piece of information: that Ann Shorten had graduated as a lawyer later in life.

Price continued: "I know for a fact the Morrison camp early this morning were of the belief that this would blow up in everyone's face today, and it would benefit Bill Shorten, and I think that's what it's done."

He agreed that it was a "grubby" piece of journalist that failed to disclose Shorten had told the full story of his mum's career before, most recently when announcing Labor's women's policy a few weeks earlier.

"It was very selective today, and unfortunately it was on page one. I suspect they're regretting it," Price said.

The Project host Waleed Aly noted that the "nastiness" of this election wasn't coming from the politicians themselves, but "from everyone around them".

steve price the project
Steve Price said it's been the "nastiest campaign" he can remember. Photo: The Project.

Notably, the Herald Sun chose not the publish the piece, a decision supported even by News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt.

"Despite being a Telegraph columnist, I must say this: Shorten spoke truly when he said his mother sacrificed her dream to be a lawyer, taking up teaching to help her siblings. There is no invention here," Bolt wrote on his blog.

Inspired by Shorten, the hashtags #MyMum and #BillsMum were the top trending topics by Wednesday afternoon, as Australians shared stories of their own mums.

The latest polling, released by Newspoll on Sunday, showed Labor on track to win the election, winning 51 percent of the vote in the two-party preferred split.

Hours earlier, a Fairfax-Ipsos poll put Labor's lead at 52 percent of the two-party preferred vote.

READ MORE: How Do Political Polls Work?

There is little over a week left before Australia heads to the polls on May 18.

Contact the author: