Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left people scratching their heads after making an appearance at a hair salon where he appeared to wash a woman’s hair.
Mr Morrison, donning an apron and mask, stood over a basin and washed a woman’s hair at Coco’s Salon, in Mount Eliza, Victoria, on Friday.
The PM massaged her scalp and then rinsed the shampoo out.
Needless to say, the hair salon cameo – which comes ahead of the upcoming election – raised a few eyebrows.
Mr Morrison was visiting the Mornington Peninsula with Liberal candidate for Dunkley, Sharn Coombes.
The prime minister could hold a future in hairdressing if Courtnie Trotter’s comments, the woman whose hair he washed, are anything to go by.
“It was very gentle. He did a good job for a first go,” she told The Herald Sun.
Appearance slammed as 'creepy' and 'terrible'
Journalist Neil McMahon compared it to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott eating a raw onion at a press opportunity in 2015. He labelled both “terrible”.
ABC reporter Louise Milligan questioned the tactic as a media opportunity.
“Genuine question: Does anyone think it’s a good idea?” she tweeted.
Others called it “creepy”. News.com.au political editor Samantha Maiden simply tweeted “Okay”.
Some also made reference to the PM using a small hose as he washed the hair, referring to when he told the media “I don’t hold a hose, mate”. That was Mr Morrison’s response after being questioned about his absence during the 2020 bushfires. The PM was holidaying in Hawaii at the time.
— Julia Bradley (@_juliabradley) February 4, 2022
Coalition behind in the polls, PM criticised
Either way, the government will be hoping appearances, such as Friday’s at the salon, will help turn the tide in the polls.
There have been suggestions the PM, and his government, is out of touch with “ordinary Australians”.
Sky News Australia reporter Andrew Clennell reeled off questions at Mr Morrison at the National Press Club earlier this week asking if he knew the cost of a loaf of bread, a litre of petrol and a rapid antigen test.
However, instead Mr Morrison told Clennell: “I’m not going to pretend to you that I go out each day and I buy a loaf of bread and I buy a litre of milk”.
The questions came after Monday’s Newspoll.
The opposition is ahead 56-44 on a two-party-preferred basis, the coalition's worst polling performance since September 2018, a survey conducted for The Australian newspaper shows.
The last poll conducted on December 6 shows Labor has increased its lead. It was ahead 53-47 in the final poll of 2021.
Nonetheless, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Mr Morrison is the man to lead the Coalition into the next election.
"He's been subject to some pretty hard personal attacks and obviously that's taken its toll, but I know he is very resilient and I know he's also very focused to work hard for the Australian people,” he told the ABC.
Leaked texts call ScoMo 'a horrible person'
By “personal attacks”, Mr Frydenberg could be referring to texts leaked to journalist Peter van Onselen.
Van Onselen asked Mr Morrison about a text exchange he claims was between a Liberal cabinet minister and former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in which the PM was called “a horrible person” and a “psycho”.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told the ABC people should disregard the messages, claiming they are from someone trying to derail the government with the “purpose of malice”.
However, Ms Berejiklian also reportedly called the PM “a bully” in a report from The Sydney Morning Herald last year, which only adds to suggestions the former premier does not like Mr Morrison.
The PM most recently made headlines when 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, appeared at a press opportunity looking less than enthused to be in his company.
Mr Morrison said he had no issue with what occurred.
International relations have also proven to be an issue. French President Emmanuel Macron accused Mr Morrison of lying to him after Australia ripped up a lucrative submarine deal with France.
The attacks on the PM’s character have been ongoing and at times relentless throughout his time in office.
One such rumour, which Mr Morrison to his credit has laughed off in good humour, is that he lost control of his bowels at a McDonald’s in Engadine in 1997.
Throughout all of it, the Coalition will be hoping he can lead them to re-election.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.