What to expect this election year?
With the federal election nearing and campaigning underway, here are some territories we expect the major parties to cover ground on.
The Coalition, seeking a fourth consecutive term in government, are pushing their economic credentials – particularly the extensive economic support programs implemented over the past two years, a strong post-lockdown economic rebound, and an unemployment rate well below 5%. Other achievements include a high vaccination rate which has lowered the risk of serious illness for Australians, a strong stance on border control, and increased military spending (including the recent AUKUS partnership agreement).
The recent Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook provided some early insight into possible Coalition election commitments. Intriguingly, there was $15.9 billion of spending over the forward estimates for “decisions taken but not yet announced and not for publication”. The Federal Budget 2022-23 will be held earlier than usual on 29 March and will be a platform for the Coalition to launch their major election policies in the run up to the election.
The Australian Labor Party (ALP), seeking a return to government after a lengthy period in opposition, has been critical of the government’s delayed vaccine rollout and the availability of Rapid Antigen Tests. The ALP’s major policies are yet to be unveiled, but we expect to see the party focus on health and education initiatives, delivery of growth through infrastructure and environmental policies.
National Security has taken a prominent position with both parties reaffirming their stance, which sees bipartisan support in the parliament on many National Security matters.
Foreign Affairs and geopolitical tensions will be one of the battlegrounds with campaigning to focus on each of political parties and their leaders’ credentials in representing Australia’s interests.
From March onwards, we will start to see each party’s plans unveiled, their election commitments announced and an intense period of campaigning. Recent polls suggest the primary vote for the two major parties is very close – it is going to be a fascinating contest!