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"The former prime minister...... deplored one-time Labor voters whose wealth had increased to the point they "don't think they can vote for us anymore".

Mr Keating told more than 500 Labor faithful at Victoria University in St Albans that those in public life faced a critical choice of who they would represent.

"The angels, of course, are the men and women of Australia, the people who make the place what it is, the ones who've got nothing to sell but their labour, nothing to sell but their time, no capital, particularly, and who need the support of the political system to give them a better standard of living, a better way of life and a better future," Mr Keating said.

"We are on the side of the angels. The others, the Libs, are on the side of the others. And of course, we've made a lot of the others so much wealthier. That's what really hurts.

"And of course the ones who used to be on our side have crossed over, got a quid in their pocket, moved up from the Commodore to the Audi, and don't think they can vote for us any more. Except they've forgotten who gave them the Audi."

Mr Keating focused on economic advances, saying he and Bob Hawke had taken the country from the old economy to the new, and Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard had shepherded it through the valley of the shadow of death during the global financial crisis.

"We did all this with a Labor heart, because we know the things that matter to people are not just their incomes, but access and equity in health, access and equity in education," he said."

Food for thought for a lot of so called "swinging voters" out there.

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