Labor takes team approach against Morrison
One man is leading his anonymous underlings against a high profile team banding together to bring him down.
It could be Thanos vs the Avengers or the Night King vs the Game of Thrones cast.
In Australia it is Scott Morrison vs Team Labor.
The prime minister's campaign has been deliberately presidential in the opening weeks, partially by choice but also by necessity.
Popular campaigners like Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne are going or gone.
Reliable frontbenchers Michael Keenan, Kelly O'Dwyer and Craig Laundy are out too.
Finance Minister Mathis Cormann has been diminished since he was hoodwinked into supporting Peter Dutton's spill attempt.
Dutton himself is quarantined to Queensland, fighting to save his own seat of Dickson and toxic to voters the further south he goes.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg can be relied on to sell the coalition message but he's also fighting to save his own seat of Kooyong in Melbourne, while Attorney-General Christian Porter is doing the same in Perth.
So the Morrison camp has leaned into the one-man band approach.
The usual coalition figures who go on Sky News to give their opinions on every issue have been pulled back.
Instead, Morrison is the key focus of coalition campaigning.
So far he's done a fairly solid job, looking relaxed on the campaign as he doesn't have to worry about dealing with parliamentary negotiations.
The coalition has tried to keep interventions from outspoken backbenchers to a minimum but no one has ever been able to stop Tony Abbott or Barnaby Joyce getting to a microphone.
"If you vote for me, you'll get me. If you vote for Bill Shorten, you'll get Bill Shorten," Morrison has said regularly.
Shifting the campaign to a mano-a-mano battle between the two leaders might play into Morrison's strengths, given he leads the preferred prime minister polling.
But Shorten has consistently pivoted away from the personal contest with Morrison.
Even when presented with opportunities to slam dunk on Dutton, who said his Labor opponent used her disability as an excuse not to live in the electorate, Shorten handed them off.
Kristina Kenneally and Catherine King picked up the bat, labelling Dutton the most toxic man in the Liberal party and forcing him to apologise.
That's been Labor's approach - this isn't a one-on-one contest, it's a team battle.
Where Morrison has lost his key lieutenants, Shorten relies on them.
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has barely been in the same place as Shorten, as she has travelled the country campaigning.
Chris Bowen, Anthony Albanese, Mark Butler and Penny Wong have all been out on the trail doing announcements without Shorten.
They're trusted not to muck up in press conferences with journalists, they can go on radio and television, they can babysit less experienced candidates.
The team approach allows Shorten to overcome some of his shortcomings.
He had a rough press conference in the first week of the campaign, when he misunderstood a question on superannuation and refused to answer another on the cost of Labor's climate change policy.
"He can't explain those policies to you and that's why I don't think you should vote for them," Morrison said on Wednesday.
But the day after that rough press conference Shorten had Bowen beside him, ready to answer any curly questions about the finer points of superannuation policy.
Morrison has been content to sit back and poke holes in Labor's policies, so Shorten has changed tack to get on the front foot.
He jumped on images of Morrison heading a soccer ball and waving a cricket bat and tennis racquet at an announcement in Adelaide.
"I'm not going to let him run around the country taking his happy pills and having his photos and getting away with serious scrutiny," Shorten said on Wednesday.
"The prime minister's job isn't to be the court jester, it's to be the man with the plan, with the answers. I've got the plan and I've got the answers."
Shorten might not be the most-liked captain but he could have the team he needs to win.
© AAP 2019