If you haven’t decided who you’ll cast your vote for in the upcoming Australian Federal election, there’s still time.
Most likely, Australians won’t go to the polls until either 11 May or 18 May.
But 2 March has cropped up occasionally in the political sphere, as the Australian Associated Press reports. And, whether fact or fiction, there is an element of attraction, for some, to this rather early date.
Early election potential
Having the election this early would mean the announcement must be made on Australia Day weekend. A pleasing link to national pride that could boost voter interest.
But a March election would come ahead of Josh Frydenberg’s budget release, which ‘the prime minister has been very clear that I’ll be delivering…on April 2,’ the treasurer said.
Frydenberg was also told by the PM that ‘the election would be held sometime after’ his budget release, but even he admits this does not solidify a date, which he says is ‘a decision for the PM and his alone’.
This early date would put a major dint in the coalition’s election campaign, who are gunning on Morrison’s Liberal government’s ability to deliver the first federal budget surplus in 12 years to sway voters.
Numbing the hip-pocket nerve is likely to dissipate some voter vengeance.
And it seems they need all the sway they can muster, with Labor keen to regain power…and many cards to play.
Opposition gunning for 2 March election
First of Labor’s hand is fuelling this rumour of a 2 March poll by suggesting Morrison’s reasons to favour it.
The opposition propose that the PM will seek an earlier election after a full circle of sex scandals closed the Australian government in 2018. A scandal which brought down a Nationals MP.
The NSW coalition are also likely to favour the early election as it will precede their own state election on 23 March. To them, a nationwide bashing of the Liberals and Nationals would quell the pent-up frustration of voters before they head to the state-issued polls three weeks later.
And on a federal level, it will mean less bullying by Labor and the crossbenchers, picking on the same issues such as refugee policies and live sheep exports. It’s likely what will be the opposition’s closing argument of any political debate from now until election time.
But regardless of the election date, the return to parliament on 12 Feb is bound to be chaotic.
And it’s up to Morrison to reinforce his leadership abilities and retain control. His 74 votes in the 150-seat House of Representatives are dependent on it.
In fact, Morrison’s chances of winning seem more dependent on convincing the public that Labor is incapable rather than claiming the Lib-National government are more than capable.
Five PMs in five years is hardly a faultless track record for the coalition.
The date that can secure a win
Julia Gillard announced a September election in January 2013. She didn’t last the eight-month waiting time.
Kevin Rudd’s time up front was also short lived thanks to a strong majority steal by Tony Abbott.
And recently ousted Malcolm Turnbull’s 55-day campaign back in 2016 wasn’t as compelling as his party would have liked.
Labor has been shockingly close turning the tide, with the double dissolution creating a hostile Senate that’s slowing many government reforms.
So, it seems a May election is the most ideal course of action for Morrison.
This path would mean Morrison can have a respectable 33–40 days of campaigning following Frydenberg’s pleasing budget release.
It really is their best shot at a victory.
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