The opinion polls for the Coalition continue to indicate the party trails Labor if an election were held today.
In fact, heading into the federal election, likely in May, it’s hard to conceive of a scenario where Prime Minister Scott Morrison can hold his grip on the government.
But we at The Australian Tribune, alongside our friends at AAP, are willing to have a crack.
And we think we’ve got it.
Morrison’s path to a victory
The election is looking at being on either 11 or 18 May.
So Morrison has the parliament seatings in February and April to reiterate his capability to be the Prime Minister of Australia.
And he’ll have ample opportunity to show his authority, having to quell the outcries from Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers throughout the chamber.
The meat of the seating sandwich will be filled with Senate estimates hearings. It’s here where Labor and the Greens will ark up the most, spitting out the usual derisive talk of a dying government with no chance of success.
Meanwhile, Coalition senators will endeavour to point out the many successes their policies have had.
Then on 2 April, a budget report will be released. And that’s where Morrison can start shifting the tide.
This budget is sure to reveal a surplus of over $4 billion. It’s something that the Australian government hasn’t been able to achieve for 12 years.
As Treasurer Josh Frydenberg noted at the end of 2018:
‘The Australian Government’s books are the best in over a decade… the Australian economy is on the right track, giving us much to look forward to.’
And so, Morrison could back the win based on this one fact alone; that only his Coalition can effectively manage the budget, economy and national security of Australia.
Managing the economy, he says, is not just a matter of numbers. He believes a strong economy means ‘Affordable medicines, aged care, Medicare, small and medium sized businesses, and to ensure that we are continuing to deliver the encouragement and support to that enterprise ethic that exists across our economy…it really does come back to those three things: keeping our economy strong, keeping Australians safe, and keeping Australians together’.
It isn’t a new argument for the liberals, but it’s certainly a sound one. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?
Of course, thanks to the political whirlwind that was 2018, Morrison is in no way guaranteed a victory. As strong as his budget practices are, there is one uncontrollable factor against him that threatens to bring him down in the next election.
The one leg up that Labor has
It does our head in here at The Australian Tribune, but the excessive amount of time wasting we’ve seen going on in parliament in the last 12 months hasn’t helped with the overall image of the Coalition.
From sex scandals, to sexist bullying, even the loss of its majority in the by-election — it’s looking like the government will never be focused enough to get the job done.
While we commend Morrison’s unwavering resolve on issues like climate action and refugee justice, the tree huggers of the world see ScoMo as an evil monster set to destroy the world. It’s a common theme throughout politics across the globe, in fact.
However, a few words of reason from Morrison and a couple new Hollywood scandals could wipe these downsides off ScoMo’s record come voting time.
There is, however, one thing he can’t deny. He is the fifth Prime Minister of Australia in the last five years. Moreover, he took the post midstream. Many voters are still baffled as to why Turnbull got the boot.
And no matter what way you look at it, leadership change never looks good for a party. Former PMs Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd — who subsequently failed to keep their PM title — are poster people for this reality.
That’s one thing Labor has going for them. A consistent — though often narrow-minded — leader. Bill Shorten has been the longest serving opposition leader since Kim Beazley.
And it may just be this continuity that nabs him the win over Morrison.
Words from ScoMo and Shorten
We’ll end with some words from the two leaders themselves, which we think solidify our prediction for the path to the May election.
Bill Shorten had this message for the public:
‘In 2018, Australians had every right to feel let down by politics, every right to feel that too many of their elected representatives were only in it for themselves.’
Remember the whirlwind, he says.
And from old ScoMo:
‘Our plan, my plan for this country, is for an even stronger Australia.
‘To keep our economy strong, to guarantee the essentials that Australians rely on.
‘To keep Australians safe from terrorism and all the way to bullying in our schools.
‘To keep our country together. To not pit one group of the Australians against another.
‘To ensure that one can succeed, and all can succeed. That one doesn’t have to fail for another one to succeed.
‘We have a lot of challenges as a country and we will get through them as we always have: together.’
Let’s keep up the ScoMo-mentum.
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