Australia heads to polls weary of turmoil

The Australian election on Saturday offers a chance to reset after a decade of political turmoil.


The Australian election on Saturday offers a "chance to reset" after a "decade of political turmoil" that has "resulted in six changes of prime minister in 12 years, leading to policy stagnation and uncertainty for business", say Edward JohnsonandHayley Warren on Bloomberg.

Rule changes within both parties mean that "whoever wins should be the first leader since 2007 to serve a full term". Although the Labor party led by Bill Shorten is still ahead in the polls, the Liberal-National Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been catching up "as they spar over tax cuts, public spending and tackling climate change".

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

The reality is that voters aren't enthusiastic about either of the two main parties, says The Economist. In theory the Coalition should benefit from the fact that "the economy has grown without interruption for 28 years". However, many voters "feel left behind" as house prices have "soared", while wages have "grown more slowly and, recently, barely at all".For its part, Labor leader Bill Shorten "is less popular than the prime minister", while many on the left "are disillusioned by the party's caution".

Ironically, the closeness of the result means it could ultimately be decided by the second preferences of those who are so disillusioned that they aren't planning on voting for the main two parties, says David Flint in Spectator Australia. Although only 15% of voters nationally plan on voting for a small party, the number varies from seat to seat, and can be as large as 30%. The evidence suggests many small-party voters will ultimately help the Coalition, especially in marginal seats.




How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019

Brace yourself – the global economy might be healthier than it looks

Investors have been worried about a global recession since the start of the year. But the latest indicators suggest things might not be so bad. John S…
2 Apr 2019

The charts that matter: the Powell put is in place

The Federal Reserve has done not so much a U-turn as a handbrake turn on monetary policy this week. John Stepek looks at how that’s affected the globa…
2 Feb 2019
EU Economy

Investors needn’t fear the rise of Europe’s green parties

Green parties across Europe are finding the centre-right to be natural allies. That will be great for business, says Matthew Lynn.
12 Jan 2020

Most Popular


Money Minute Friday 17 January: UK weakness likely to continue

Today's Money Minute previews UK retail sales figures the UK, inflation data from Europe and industrial production from the US.
17 Jan 2020

Currency Corner: how high can the pound go against the euro in 2020?

In the month in which we should finally leave the European Union, Dominic Frisby takes a look at the pound vs the euro and asks just how high sterling…
13 Jan 2020
House prices

UK house prices may be heading for a Boris bounce

The latest survey of estate agents and surveyors from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is "unambiguously positive" – suggesting house pric…
16 Jan 2020
Share tips

Class acts going cheap: buy into Europe’s best bargains

Value investing appears to be making a comeback, while shares on this side of the Atlantic are more appealing on metrics such as price/earnings ratios…
16 Jan 2020