‘Losing the plot’: Election takes toll on leaders
EXCLUSIVE: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten were both feeling the toll of the federal election campaign during the crucial final leaders' debate, with tiredness dogging their persuasive capabilities.
Body language expert Dr Louise Mahler told News Corp Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten both looked exhausted as they went head-to-head for the last time before polling day.
"They're tired, less energised, less aggressive and less differentiated," she said.
She said this led to a "boring" final debate, and suggested neither leader appeared fit to represent Australia on the world stage.
Ms Mahler added the skills of influence of both leaders were "dead".
"All they have is anger and aggression, and when you strip it out, they have nothing left," she said.
"They should have worked on their posture. Bill Shorten often appeared to be at an angle standing on one leg, or leaning on the lectern."
She added both leaders should have worked on their eye contact and hand gestures, and introduced techniques like creative metaphors.
Ms Mahler said there was a point where Mr Shorten "lost the plot" when discussing the cost of cancer drugs.
"His hands give it away. His hands start looking awkward, and his fingers wriggle, and he puts them together," she said.
She said both had lessons to learn in composure.
"Scott Morrison for example seals his mouth, his eyes go in all directors. Bill wriggles and smirks. Neither have composure," she said.
Neither Mr Morrison or Mr Shorten showed the qualities of a world leader based on the three debates, according to Ms Mahler.
"They don't listen, they hide their hands, and they are aggressive in their voicing. None of these are suitable leadership skills," she said.
"I can't see any swinging voter being won over after tonight's debate."
And when it came to style, neither leader won many points, according to Editor of GQ Australia, Mike Christensen.
He commended Mr Shorten for cutting his hair, but his suit left little to be desired.
"Again, Shorten has reverted back to an ill fitted, shapeless suit that has too much space for his bland, nondescript tie and is baggy on the arms," Mr Christensen said.
Mr Christensen said the PM's shirt appeared to "swallow up his neck", but little had changed in his outfit or look compared to previous debates.
"Neither has any notable style. That is not meant as scathing - and I'm sure it's an opinion neither will care much about," Mr Christensen said.
"But here's the thing: Attire and public appearance are pretty difficult to separate, especially when motivations are in question. How they present themselves as the Prime Minister of Australia won't define their chances of success, but it will present an opportunity to become, dare I say, more presentable."