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

2019 Getty Images

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".

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.

Recommended

Amazon halts plans to ban UK Visa credit card payments
Personal finance

Amazon halts plans to ban UK Visa credit card payments

Amazon has said that it is to shelve its proposed ban on UK customers making payments with Visa credit cards.
17 Jan 2022
The charts that matter: growth stocks continue their slide
Global Economy

The charts that matter: growth stocks continue their slide

As the US tech stocks and the dollar fell further this week, here’s what happened to the charts that matter most to the global economy.
15 Jan 2022
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Bitcoin’s new year is off to a bad start – what does the rest of 2022 hold?
Bitcoin & crypto

Bitcoin’s new year is off to a bad start – what does the rest of 2022 hold?

Bitcoin has had its worst-ever start to a year. But it remains the “future of money”, says Dominic Frisby. Here, he looks at what might come next for …
12 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022
Stockmarkets

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022

Forget Covid-19 – it’s the unexpected twists that will rattle markets in 2022, says Matthew Lynn. Here are five possibilities
31 Dec 2021
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise
Tech stocks

Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise

The realisation that central banks are about to tighten their monetary policies caused a sell-off in the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index and the biggest…
14 Jan 2022