Rudd and Tony Abbott clashed for the first time in last night’s televised leader’s debate, and it was at the end of this that Rudd made the promise as “folk out there want this to happen.”

Abbott said that there had been a “fairly decisive” parliamentary vote on this a year ago and that he would not make it a priority for his government, were he to be voted Prime Minister.

The two leaders came head to head in the hour-long televised debate in Canberra which focussed mostly on economic issues.

It is the first of three possible encounters before the election on September 7.

Photo: Getty.