2019 IS YEAR OF THE PIG – WILL BILL SHORTEN BRING HOME THE BACON FOR LABOR?
By Jody Fassina, Managing Director at Insight Strategy. He is a leading consultant providing strategic counsel to corporate and industry associations as a trusted adviser. Jody was a Senior Adviser to ALP Senators for a decade.
How a week in politics can change things. The advent of border security as an election issue has seen the Morrison Government on the front foot and might make some in Labor begin to feel a little bit nervous. This is one issue Labor struggles with, and just as quickly as it arrived as an issue, Labor will be hoping that it fades as an issue.
It just proves that politics is a fickle business and there is no such thing as sure thing in politics – just ask John Hewson or Hillary Clinton.
With the Federal Budget due to be handed down on April 2, this will see the Federal election called for May 18 on either the weekend of April 6/7 or April 13/14.
Here are some key facts to keep in mind heading into the election:
– There are 151 seats up for grabs in the election.
– With electoral redistributions and defections to the crossbench, the Government currently hold 72 seats, the ALP 71 and the crossbench has 8.
– Labor need to win a net 5 seats to form Government, on a uniform swing of 1% or 50.6% of the two-party preferred vote.
– The Morrison Government need a swing to them of around 1% or 51.5% of the two-party preferred vote and a net 4 seats to regain majority Government.
– Current polling has Labor leading 51% to 49%.
Already the election is hotting up with the Government running on their key strengths of national security and the economy, and Labor running on an agenda of a fair go for all.
A key issue for the Government is the strength of their primary vote. In 2016 they polled 42% of the vote and won a bare majority of 76 seats. Labor polled 35% of the vote and won 69 seats, 5 seats went to others.
Labor traditionally do better on preferences than the LNP, hence the Government historically need a primary vote of 42% or better to win whereas Labor can win with a primary vote of around 38% or 39%.
There will also be an election for half the Senate. The Senate has had a higher profile in recent years due to the role of the crossbench. While the outcome in the Senate is hard to predict the following can be said:
– Neither the ALP or LNP will control the Senate.
– The Senate crossbench while likely to be diminished will still remain hugely influential regardless of who forms Government.
– Stakeholders would do well not to forget the role and influence of the Senate and the power of the crossbench when engaging with Canberra.
Let the games begin!
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