We've still got five weeks until election day, but Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn has already come through with a strong contender for most awkward, cringeworthy interview of the entire campaign after repeatedly being unable or unwilling to detail any of his party's recent major policies.
Jermyn, the challenger for the Victorian seat of McEwen held by Labor's Rob Mitchell, was left very red-faced on Saturday after his attempt to embarrass Bill Shorten seriously backfired. Jermyn had gathered with a few supporters outside an event where the opposition leader was due to arrive, but instead of avoiding the scene, Shorten boldly walked up and shook Jermyn's hand.
"If you're good enough to turn up to meet one leader in this election, I'm good enough to shake your hand," Shorten joked.
As the Liberal challenger began to pack up his things in the rain, the travelling media pack descended upon him to pepper him with a few questions -- and that's where things went from bad to worse. He was unable to give any details on what he thought about the ALP's plans to unfreeze the Medicare rebate, resulting in this cringeworthy transcript:
He was then chased through a carpark by the media pack. Bemused and confused shoppers watched on and moved their trolleys out of the way, as journalists and cameras followed Jermyn through the lot, as he criticised the media along the way.
"I suggest that this kind of interrogative journalism is exactly what's been wrong with Australian politics over the last number of years," Jermyn said.
"But you don't even know what your Medicare policy is," a reporter responded.
"Can you explain the Liberals' Medicare policy to us?" another asked.
"I will be packing up our listening post rather than standing in the rain being interrogated by you," Jermyn said, as he walked off to pack his posters into a car branded with his name and face.
9 News reported Jermyn also said "this is why I hate journalists."
The incident was the subject of laughs on ABC panel show Insiders on Sunday morning, as veteran journalists Barrie Cassidy, Fran Kelly, Fleur Anderson and Andrew Probyn giggled over the footage.
McEwen is one of the most marginal seats in the country, held by the ALP by just 0.15 percent. It would be a seat the Liberal Party is looking to pick up, but Jermyn's interview has done him no favours. It is already being compared to the infamous interview of Jaymes Diaz during the 2013 election, where the Liberal candidate was unable to detail the government's "six point plan" to stop asylum seeker boat arrivals. Fast-forward to 3:00 to relive that immortal moment in Australian politics:Suggest a correction