Skip To Content
  • Australia Votes 2016 badge

30 Things That Weren't On TV During The First Leaders' Debate

We watched it so you didn't have to.

1. We all realised how stupid it was to throw a leaders' debate on a Friday night that also happened to be Eurovision semi finals night. Whoever made this decision should be sacked.

2. Before the debate had even begun there were protests out the front of Windsor RSL.

"Mr Harbourside Millionaire meet the plebs" #ausvotes #leadersdebate protests

Some of the best protest signs (including Smelly the dog) at the #leadersdebate #ausvotes protest

We Love Solar are here #ausvotes #leadersdebate

Some of the anti airport signs at the #ausvotes #leadersdebate protest

3. The Greens were upset they weren't invited to be a part of the debate.

Two parties for too long, Greens not part of leadership debate tonight at Windsor RSL #Greens16 #auspol

If only we had @RichardDiNatale there to cut through the waffle & scrapping.... #peoplesforum

@armchair_econ @workmanalice more than the National party, who don't get an invite.

@greensjeremy @BernardKeane @workmanalice UK 2015 election - Greens 3.8%,UKIP 12.7%, SNP 4.7%, ALL took part in debates. Why diff here?

4. The Windsor RSL punters weren't happy with the politicians, their entourages and the press pack who took over their RSL during meat tray raffle night.

A few of the locals aren't happy about the "blow in media". Apparently we're sitting in the exact spot they sit every Friday! #leadersdebate

5. Others seemed oblivious this was anything other than regular TGIF drinks.

Metres away from the chaos of the #leadersdebate there's a really nice acoustic sesh happening in the Windsor RSL.

6. Finally the 100 undecided voters arrived and we were ready to get the first leaders' debate underway!

Minutes before the #leadersdebate goes live @David_Speers tells the audience to "brace yourselves" #ausvotes

7. ~ FRIENDS ~

8. We quickly realised there was a sound proofing problem ...

There's an issue of noise leakage in the #peoplesforum - we can hear the Keno announcements from the other room! #ausvotes

As Malcolm Turnbull talks about democratic freedom, through the walls I can hear the last post playing in the other room #leadersdebate

We're getting the meat raffle results now #luckynumber20 #leadersforum #ausvotes

Bill Shorten's first answer interrupted by the winning numbers from the meat raffle.... God bless this country #peoplesforum #ausvotes

9. There weren't enough chairs in the room so people were stuck sitting on the RSL carpet floor. No thank you.

There's a severe lack of chairs in the #peoplesforum. Turnbull's media team are sitting on the floor! #ausvotes

10. A few minutes in everyone realised this was a horrible mistake.

Bill starts by thanking people for coming out on their Friday. People on a Friday:

There's a young man the back row definitely more interested in his purple converse shoes than listening to Malcolm Turnbull #peoplesforum

11. Finance minister Mathias Cormann was live tweeting!

12. Pollies of all persuasions got involved.

Shorten gave the ultimate handout to brown coal - and he attacks a program that supports farmers and indigenous groups 😳 #ausvotes

"You are wrong too, voter. Let me lecture you at length about how" #peoplesforum #ausvotes2016

Ex-Banker Turnbull so concerned about the banks gouging on RBA interest rate changes he's giving them a $7 billion tax cut #leadersforum

13. And some of their tweets were just baffling.


Want a real debate? I'm turning over to @SBSEurovision #peoplesforum

15. But not Christopher Pyne, he was cheering on the Crows.

With Rob Chapman, @Adelaide_FC Chairman - a great man and a great team #AFL #AdelaideCrows #GoCrows

16. Bill Shorten kept telling each questioner that he'd talk to them after the debate.

Bill Shorten's post-forum dance card filling up quickly #peoplesforum

17. Malcolm Turnbull was ~ thirsty ~.

We're only three questions in and Malcolm Turnbull has nearly finished his glass of water #thirsty #peoplesforum

Turnbull takes a last sip, now out of water #peoplesforum


19. The questions, which weren't screened beforehand, got a bit weird.

Bosnian extradition treaties. This #peoplesforum is quite the surprise. #ausvotes

Didn't see that coming. Question on Bosnians being extradited. PM @TurnbullMalcolm and @billshortenmp don't accept premise of the question

“Let’s not vet the questions they said” “It’ll be fine they said"

This may be a very worthy issue but I'm not sure anyone will remember 2016 as the Bosnian election

20. Malcolm Turnbull said that we should all be listening more to real estate agents. For real.

"Listen to the real agents.” Something no one said until this evening.

Malcolm thinks real estates are widely respected.

Who's less trusted in Australia - real estate agents or politicians? (Or journalists, for that matter?)

21. For a second Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten went off script and started sledging each other and for a second it looked like this debate might get interesting!

TURC! Banks! Awkward zingers! Going off script! #peoplesforum

22. But then it got boring again.

I'm sure some have Friday night footy remorse

23. ** RING THE BELL **

Speers: “We are out of time for questions."

24. Finally after what felt like an eternity (but in reality was much, much longer) the debate was over and it was time for the 100 people in the room to vote for the winner. They could pick Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten, or declared they were still undecided.

Here are the ballot boxes. #leadersdebate

25. Bill Shorten was declared the winner 42 votes to Malcolm Turnbull's 29. Interestingly, 29 people were still "undecided" at the end of the debate. Guess you've got to werk harder next time, fellas.

And the room gives it to... 42 Shorten 29 Turnbull 29 Undecided #peoplesforum

26. Bill Shorten celebrated with his #squad and took down some names and numbers.

Selfie with Bill #ausvotes #peoplesforum

"You won't regret it if you vote for us" Shorten tells the line of people waiting to get selfies #peoplesforum

Shorten's team are taking down email addresses of people who want to have a "dialogue" with Bill #peoplesforum

27. The No Western Sydney Airport protesters kept themselves busy outside the RSL during the debate ... vandalising local Liberal member for Macquarie Louise Markus' car.

The No Western Sydney Airport protestors have vandalised Liberal candidate Louise MARKUS' car #ausvotes

28. Bill got a bit email happy and maybe lost any supporters he won over during the debate.

Yo Bill, please give @sallywhyte same space, geez

29. Thanks to a few dozen people who watched and tweeted along. Was it worth it? Probably not. Go democracy!

It's official: The Big Bang Theory smashes the election forum from western Sydney. #sheldonrules

30. If for some reason you're a sadist and want to know more about the first leaders' debate, check out our BuzzFeed Oz Pol wrap.

Here's the @BuzzFeedOzPol wrap on the first #ausvotes #peoplesforum won by @billshortenmp

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form