Advertisement
Features

Australia heads to polls weary of turmoil

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

947-Morrison-2-634
Scott Morrison: sparring

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".

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

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
If companies have too much power, we need more competition, not higher taxes
US Economy

If companies have too much power, we need more competition, not higher taxes

Free-market capitalism is breaking down and that is going to lead to higher taxes down the line. John Stepek explains why that matters for investors.
11 Aug 2020
The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness
Global Economy

The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness

As the gold price presses on to new highs, John Stepek looks at he charts that matter most to the global economy.
8 Aug 2020
South Africa faces a big economic storm
Emerging markets

South Africa faces a big economic storm

Recession hit South Africa has been the fifth-worst hit country in the world measured by the number of coronavirus cases. The local stockmarket has so…
7 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020
Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold
Silver and other precious metals

Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold

Gold and silver continue to soar, but there's still time to get in. And there's another precious metal that looks set to go on a bull run too, says Jo…
7 Aug 2020
UK house prices hit a new record high – can it last?
House prices

UK house prices hit a new record high – can it last?

Despite the pandemic, UK house prices have hit a new high. John Stepek looks at what’s driving the surge in prices, and what it means for house prices…
7 Aug 2020