Scott Morrison may have made the most divisive remark of the five-week federal election campaign.
“I love coriander.”
The prime minister was in the midst of a last-minute dash to the Sydney Markets west of the city ahead of the election on Saturday.
The Liberals are trying to hold onto the seat of Reid following the retirement of former minister Craig Laundy.
Mr Morrison picked up an armful of herbs – including coriander, which some diners find disgusting – before declining an offer to take them for free.
“The coalition always pays its bills,” he joked.
The prime minister has marketed himself as a man of many caps.
But the offer of a pineapple hat from one market worker was a brim too far.
“I’m sorry to disappoint.”
The self-confessed curry lover also snaffled a fistful of chillies.
“I ran out of these on Sunday night.”
Later today, Mr Morrison will urge Australians not to “turn back” when he delivers his final major speech of the federal election campaign at the National Press Club in Canberra.
He will emphasise the government’s central campaign theme that only the coalition can deliver superior economic management.
“My message is this: now is not the time to turn back,” he will say.
“Now is the time to get on and keep on with the work of building our economy by backing in the choices Australians are wanting to make every day and to enable them to plan for their future with confidence.”
The prime minister has focussed the final week of the government’s re-election campaign on a promise to help more young people into the housing market.
But for the past five weeks – and indeed for much of his eight months in the job – his primary focus has been on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s alternative plans for the economy.
“Labor are proposing a big taxing, big spending agenda, once again at a time when Australians can least afford the bill that they will be forced to pay, not just over the next three years, but at least the next decade,” Mr Morrison will say.
“This week is about focusing Australians on that choice and the price of that choice.”