Election to be called – open thread


It appears that the prime minister, Scott Morrison, is on his way to visit the governor-general today to call the Australian federal election, apparently for May 21.

I’m actually in the inner south of Canberra today, watching the running festival.

Feel free to use this blog post as an open thread, or check out the Tally Room guide to the federal election.

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  1. Excuse my ignorance but how is it already widely circulating that it will be May 21 rather than May 14. Even the ABC posted it without providing a source.

  2. It must be a slow news day… if this gets people excited. Not dissing you Ben, but the media are making much more of this than it realy needs.

    Watch the media go nuts over this, when in fact it realy means nothing, and is part of the ordinary process. The fact that Morrison has left it to the last minute is symbolic of hgis government in general..

  3. The ABC news coverage really is just awful. You can tell they have absolutely no clue about any seats on the ground that their major party sources aren’t briefing them on. They’re talking up Robertson of all places as one of the most likely ALP pickups in NSW, briefly touched on Reid, then didn’t say anything else. Meanwhile they don’t seem to even know any of the names of the seats in Queensland and keep blithering on about Flynn. And while they have briefly touched on the existence of the independent Climate 200 candidates I don’t think they’ve even uttered the word ‘Greens’ once.

  4. Furtive Lawngnome – same on Channel 7 (was flipping between the two). Both 7 and ABC saying there won’t be much movement of seats in Victoria.
    There is going to be carnage for the Coalition in Victoria.

  5. Well, let the fun begin I suppose. Will be interesting to see what developments we see in different seats as this campaign progresses. Right now, I see the hill the Liberals would need to climb to win as being too much, but who the hell knows. 2019 happened. I believe the three easiest Labor gains are Boothby, Swan, and Pearce, but there are many more seats they are favored to pickup. Ultimately, to list all seats I expect to change hands right now, I expect the Coalition to gain Hunter, the Greens to gain Higgins, Independents to gain Wentworth and Goldstein, and Labor to gain Boothby, Swan, Pearce, Reid, Chisholm, Casey, Hasluck, and Brisbane right now. Bass, Braddon, Deakin, Robertson, La Trobe, Flinders, North Sydney, Tangney, Sturt, Leichhardt, Longman, Bennelong, and probably some more could easily join that club, as could Curtin, Kooyong, and Mackellar join the Independent club. Excited to see what happens and feel free to reply with any thoughts on my analysis!

  6. At this stage, I would see the easy Labor gains being Boothby, Swan, Reid, Pearce, Brisbane and most likely Chisholm and Robertson. The Lib margin is surprisingly high in Brisbane when you look at the Lib primary vote. I also think Tim Wilson and Dave Sharma are in big trouble in Goldstein and Wentworth. My feeling is that the Libs can just hold on in Higgins, Kooyong and Flinders. North Sydney, I can’t get a grasp on at all. Hughes, ditto but think Kelly will be lucky to push >10%.

    I can’t really see why the Libs wouldn’t do OK in Tasmania. Lyons to my mind is the only serious chance that the Libs have for a pick up besides Hunter.

    If Labor have a good night they might also have chances in Moore, Tangney, Sturt and Deakin. My view is they can hold on in Casey, Bennelong and Banks.

    To my mind, the big decider will be where One Nation send their preferences – if they send them to the L/NP then there is the chance that the Nats could win Hunter and it will make holding seats like Longman, Flynn, Hinkler, Herbert, Petrie much much easier. If they go against the incumbent then they can wreak havoc especially in outer Brisbane, Flynn, Herbert and Leichhardt. In this scenario a seat like Monash could get very close. That could push the ALP into large but unstable majority territory. As for the UAP they have all the political effectiveness of a fart in a bath.

  7. This is the 5th election to be held in May.The others (1913,1917,1954 & 1974) resulted in the Government being returned-one of the few good omens for the government.

  8. Sabena
    The 2019 election was also in May. I think you are resorting to an unsupportable hypothesis. Similarly, the Libs used to also like calling elections as close as possible to December 10 – the date they won in 1949.

  9. Cannot see Labor losing and gaining seats in nsw.qld is unknown are the margins based on 2016 or 2019 elections. Also Hinkler is a dark horse.

  10. Redistributed
    Any party worker who has campaigned in December knows the disadvantage of a summer election I cut my teeth campaigning at Graceville State School which faces due West in the days when Federal booths closed at 8.00 PM. Sunset was a Godsend. No Shade whatsoever in those days out the front of the school. May is probably the best month for electioneering not too hot or too cold and not too rainy. There is nothing worse than standing in pouring rain I can think of two elections with pouring rain.
    The DLP in Queensland used to have their own offset printer and some of the How to Votes were printed in House. Offset printer ink is water soluble. At Qld State election in 1969 it was raining and I got Oxley State School to man. The HTV ink ran -and I returned home absolutely covered in Black Ink from head to shoes. At least Q
    In Queensland it was not freezing. The one election I did in Victoria at West Geelong Town Hall was rainy, windy and wet fortunately there was a bar close by and a rum every couple of hours kept me going.
    Let’s hope the weather is good.

  11. Redistributed-to correct you, its not my hypothesis. I happen to think the Government is gone-and what I said is simply that past history is helpful-that’s all. But history has a way of correcting itself.

  12. I have a pet theory that holding elections in autumn/winter helps the Right by keeping climate change out of the headlines.

  13. Furtive, is this ‘theory’ only considered for Australian elections? Because in the US, they hold elections during the autumn/winter months and that hasn’t stopped Democrats from winning big in the 2006 and 2018 landslide years.

  14. Elections aren’t generally held in Summer because it’s ridiculous to ask voters to care about an election during the holidays.

  15. I’ve heard several times (I think in different brand media) that the ALP has only won elections three times (Whitlam, Hawke, Rudd) from opposition since WW2 in a tone that suggests it will be a “big thing” if they do it this time. By my count, if they do, it will be four-all, and the only reason they are one behind at present is because the PM at the end of the war was Labor.

  16. Scott D
    Precisely. Still arguably a ‘big thing’, whichever direction the government changes.
    In fact, mathematically speaking, in a two-party system, one of the two sides will forever be, at most, one ‘removal’ ahead. I think the pre-war(II) system is similarly interpreted as a two-party system, back as far as 1922: the first two decades of federation doesn’t conform to such a model.
    The tone might reflect the generally longer stints of the coalition: feeling like it’s the normal situation in the century of two party rule.

  17. Scott, I always think exactly the same thing when I hear that.

    Considering only 2 parties have held power since WWII, then if one has only won from opposition 3 times it means it’s only even possible for the other party to have won one more time than that at most. That’s not a story, it’s just numeric logic…

    They have only won from opposition 3 times because the Libs have only had 3 stints in government prior to the current one. Just like the Libs have only won 4 times from opposition because Labor have had 4 stints in government (including when WWII ended).

    The “story” is just that Australia doesn’t change government too often in general.

  18. Polling is narrowing as expected, don’t think Labor has this in the bag. I personally think going to be close election unless the LNP make a major error or ALP which is highly possible.


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