Australians face the starkest policy choice in a generation with an election to be held in just five weeks.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is odds-on favourite to be Australia’s next prime minister, despite the government campaigning strongly against his renewable energy and negative gearing policies to help younger people afford a home.
Betting agency Sportsbet is predicting the biggest federal Labor majority in 76 years, in an election where four Liberal ministers would lose their seat.
More than 16.2million voters are heading to the polls in five weeks in an election which could see a government voted out of office for only the eighth time since World War II.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived at Government House in Canberra on Thursday morning to speak to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove about dissolving Parliament.
Australians face the starkest policy choice in a generation with an election to be held in just five weeks (pictured are Bill Shorten with wife Chloe and Scott Morrison with wife Jenny)
Mr Morrison arrived at Government House in Canberra on Thursday morning to speak to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove about dissolving Parliament
Mr Morrison arrived at Government House in Canberra on Thursday morning
Mr Shorten told Daily Mail Australia last month his policy agenda was the most ambitious since Gough Whitlam won the 1972 election by campaigning on the theme, ‘It’s Time.’
His Labor Party is vowing to have Australia source 50 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
Labor also wants half of all vehicles sold in Australia within 11 years to be electric or hybrid cars, a very dramatic increase from the 0.2 per cent market share they have now.
The Opposition also wants to slash carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will call a May poll when he visits Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra to have Parliament dissolved
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (right with wife Chloe) is odds-on favourite to be Australia’s next prime minister, despite the government campaigning strongly against his renewable energy and negative gearing policies to help younger people afford a home
Labor’s plan is much more ambitious than the Coalition’s goal of a 28 per cent reduction in carbon pollution over the same time frame.
The Opposition is also vowing to scrap negative gearing tax breaks for future purchases of existing property, so fewer investors are competing with younger Australians wanting to buy their first home.
Possible Labor gains
Dunkley, Victoria, Liberal: notionally Labor 1.2 per cent
Corangamite, Victoria, Liberal: notionally Labor 0.1 per cent
Capricornia, Queensland, Nationals: 0.6 per cent
Forde, Queensland, Liberal: 0.6 per cent
Gilmore, NSW, Liberal: 0.8 per cent
Flynn, Queensland, Nationals: 1.1 per cent
Robertson, NSW, Liberal: 1.2 per cent
Banks, NSW, Liberal: 1.5 per cent
Petrie, Queensland, Liberal: 1.7 per cent
Dickson, Queensland, Liberal: 1.8 per cent
Hasluck, Western Australia, Liberal: 2.1 per cent
Page, NSW, Nationals: 2.3 per cent
Boothby, South Australia, Liberal: 2.8 per cent
Chisholm, Victoria, Liberal: 3.0 per cent
La Trobe, Victoria, Liberal: 3.2 per cent
Dawson, Queensland, Nationals: 3.4 per cent
Bonner, Queensland, Liberal: 3.4 per cent
Swan, Western Australia, Liberal: 3.6 per cent
Pearce, Western Australia, Liberal: 3.7 per cent
Leichhardt, Queensland: 4.1 per cent
Reid, NSW, Liberal: 4.7 per cent
Brisbane, Queensland, Liberal: 6.1 per cent
Deakin, Victoria, Liberal: 6.5 per cent
Source: Seats where Labor has the shortest Sportsbet odds. Margins are based on electoral redistributions since the 2016 election, as analysed by Malcolm Mackerras
Labor has promised to stop wealthy retirees, who don’t pay income tax, from getting tax refunds for when they receive share dividends.
The Opposition says its winding back of negative gearing and its tax crackdowns on shareholders will save $80billion over the next decade.
The government, which lacks a parliamentary majority, is opposed to both of these policies and has been campaigning fiercely for the Baby Boomer vote.
Mr Morrison, who became PM in August, will call a May election, a week after his Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered a Budget giving annual tax cuts of up to $1,080 for 10 million Australian workers earning up to $126,000 a year.
Mr Shorten has vowed to match the tax cuts and give even more to lower income earners on less than $40,000 a year, who were promised $255 a year in the Budget.
His Budget-reply speech also offered a $2.3 billion policy whereby the Commonwealth would pay the medical bills of cancer sufferers – five years after the Opposition Leader’s mother Ann died of breast cancer.
The Liberal-National party Coalition last week unveiled the first Budget surplus in 12 years – something a federal Labor government hasn’t delivered since 1989 when Bob Hawke was prime minister.
The government, however, is plagued with disunity, having disposed Tony Abbott in September 2015 before right-wing forces brought down his prime ministerial successor Malcolm Turnbull in August 2018.
Both major parties are committed to sending asylum seekers to offshore processing centres at Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
Labor, however, is open about them being allowed to move to New Zealand, following an offer from Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
When Labor was last in government former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2008 dismantled the Pacific solution.
This led to a surge in boat arrivals, rising from just three in the 2007-08 financial year, to 117 in 2009-10.
Or put another way, the number of asylum seekers surged from 25 to 5,327, figures from a Parliament House research paper showed.
Labor also wants half of all vehicles sold in Australia within 11 years to be electric cars (Tesla Model X pictured), a very dramatic increase from the 0.2 per cent market share they have now, as part of a plan for 50 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewables by 2030
The policy change also coincided with the deaths of 48 people, mainly asylum seekers from Iran and Iraq, as their boat sunk and washed on to cliffs at Christmas Island in December 2010.
Possible independent gains
Warringah, NSW, Liberal: Winter Olympic champion Zali Steggall has an even money chance of defeating former PM Tony Abbott, whose odds are marginally shorter than his opponent campaigning on the issue of climate change
Cowper, NSW, Nationals: former independent Rob Oakeshott is the short-priced favourite to win this Mid-North Coast electorate. He backed a Labor minority government in 2010
The Coalition has now lost 50 Newspolls in a row to Labor, trailing the Opposition 46 to 54 per cent after preferences.
If replicated at the election, the government would suffer a 4.4 per cent swing against it causing the Liberal and National parties to lose 12 seats.
Betting agency Sportsbet, however, has Labor picking up 23 seats from the Coalition, which would see its seat numbers swell to 93 in the expanded 151-member House of Representatives.
The Liberal and National parties would see their seat tally plummet from 75 now to 53, marking the worst electoral drubbing for the conservative side of politics since 1943.
This would give Mr Shorten the biggest federal election majority since March 1996, when John Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition defeated Paul Keating’s Labor Party in a landslide.
It would also mark the biggest Labor majority since John Curtin was prime minister during World War II.
Both major parties are committed to sending asylum seekers to offshore processing centres at Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. But when Labor was last in government, boat arrivals surged after it abolished the Pacific solution (asylum seeker boat at Christmas Island pictured)
Mr Shorten is on course to be the first prime minister since 1914 to have won an election after taking over as Opposition Leader from the time his party was defeated at the polls.
Sportsbet predicted ministers Peter Dutton, Christian Porter, David Coleman and Ken Wyatt would lose their seats.
Possible Liberal gains
Wentworth, NSW, Independent: 1.2 per cent
Indi, Victoria, Independent: 4.8 per cent
The betting agency is predicting the Liberal Party will lose to Labor the seat of Boothby, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, which it has held since 1949.
It also had former independent Rob Oakeshott as the short-priced favourite to pick up Cowper, on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, from the Nationals, where former minister Luke Hartsuyker is retiring.
But the betting market had the Liberal Party winning back former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, as another former PM Tony Abbott narrowly held on to his nearby electorate of Warringah.
Veteran election analyst Malcolm Mackerras was less optimistic about Mr Shorten’s chances of a Labor landslide, predicting it will win 83 seats, up from the 69 it won in 2016, and factoring in an electoral redistribution in two Liberal-held seats in Victoria.
‘I think he’s performing very well,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
The Coalition, under his scenario, would see its seat tally drop from 75 to 64, as the Liberal Party regained the northern Victorian electorate of Indi, where independent Cathy McGowan is retiring.
Mr Morrison, who became PM in August, will call a May 18 election, days after his Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured with son Blake) delivered a Budget giving tax cuts of up to $1,080 for 10 million Australian workers earning up to $126,000 a year
Mr Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth could also be another Liberal gain, as Dave Sharma defeated independent Dr Kerryn Phelps, who won an October by-election and pushed the government into minority territory.
Mr Turnbull’s arch nemesis Mr Abbott was tipped to lose his Sydney northern beaches electorate of Warringah to winter Olympian Zali Steggall, with Sportsbet and opinion polls showing a close contest.
‘I think Sharma has a slightly better chance of winning Wentworth than Abbott has of retaining Warringah,’ Mr Mackerras said.
‘Dave Sharma is thought to be a very good candidate who belongs to basically the moderate side of the party.
Mr Turnbull’s arch nemesis Tony Abbott (left) was tipped to lose his Sydney northern beaches electorate of Warringah to winter Olympian Zali Steggall (right)
‘More particularly, people put Kerryn Phelps in to express their anger about the Liberal Party sacking Turnbull. Now that anger’s over, they’ll say, ‘Well, Sharma’s a good candidate’.’
Mr Mackerras saw Attorney-General Christian Porter losing his Perth-based seat of Pearce, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton losing his Brisbane electorate of Dickson and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt losing his eastern Perth electorate of Hasluck.
Mr Mackerras, an honorary fellow with the Australian Catholic University, however, predicted Immigration Minister David Coleman would hold his marginal south-west Sydney seat of Banks, despite its narrow 1.4 per cent margin.
It overlaps with the state seats of East Hills and Oatley, which recorded swings to the Liberal Party at the March state election.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) is tipped to lose his Brisbane seat of Dickson while Attorney-General Christian Porter is regarded as being in danger in his Perth seat of Pearce
Mr Mackerras said while Mr Morrison wasn’t particularly popular across Australia, his Liberal Party had stronger support in that part of Sydney, which for six decades had supported Labor at a state and federal level.
‘I think in southern Sydney, he’s doing very well which is part of the reason why I think Banks will stay with the Liberal Party,’ he said.
‘Apart from that, I just don’t think people think much of him.
‘He doesn’t come across to me as being at all competent.
‘He certainly doesn’t come across as deserving to be Prime Minister.’
Dawson, in north Queensland, would also stay with the Nationals , with renegade backbencher George Christensen (right with maverick independent Bob Katter) campaigning for the government to fund a coal-fired power station
He also predicted the Nationals would keep their most marginal seat of Capricornia, in central Queensland, despite assistant minister Michelle Landry holding it by a very slim 0.6 per cent margin.
Dawson, in north Queensland, would also stay with the Nationals , with renegade backbencher George Christensen campaigning for the government to fund a coal-fired power station.
‘Areas that are near to possible new coal mines stay will stay with the Nationals,’ Mr Mackerras said.
‘They’re close enough to the Bowen Basin developments.’
Even before the election begins, electorate distributions in the Liberal-held Victorian seats of Corangamite and Dunkley already favour Labor, which means sitting government members Sarah Henderson and Chris Crewther will need to increase their vote to keep their jobs.
Electoral state of play in Australia
Betting agency Sportsbet has Labor picking up 23 new seats from the Coalition.
This would see Labor end up with 93 seats out of 151, giving it 61.6 per cent of seats in an expanded House of Representatives.
This would be Labor’s biggest majority haul of seats, in percentage terms, since 1943 when John Curtin was wartime prime minister.
This would also be a bigger win than Bob Hawke’s 1983 victory and Kevin Rudd’s 2007 defeat of John Howard.
It would mark the biggest landslide since 1996, when John Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition defeated Paul Keating’s Labor Party, which had been in power for 13 years.
The Coalition’s seat tally would plummet from 75 now to 53, marking its worst defeat in 76 years, before the Liberal Party was founded.
Were the betting predictions to materialise, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton would lose his Brisbane seat of Dickson while Attorney-General Christian Porter would be defeated in his Perth seat of Pearce.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives, would also lose his eastern Perth seat of Hasluck while Immigration Minister David Coleman would lose his south-west Sydney seat of Banks.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott is also in danger in his Sydney northern beaches seat of Warringah, against independent challenger and Winter Olympic champion Zali Steggall, although he is narrowly favoured to stay in Parliament.
Former independent Rob Oakeshott is the favourite to claim the New South Wales Mid-North Coast seat of Cowper from the Nationals, where former minister Luke Hartsuyker is retiring.
The Liberal Party could regain the northern Victorian seat of Indi, following the retirement of independent Cathy McGowan.
Dave Sharma also has short odds of regaining former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which former Australian Medical Association president Dr Kerryn Phelps won as an independent in an October 2018 by-election.
Were Sportsbet’s scenarios to materialise, Mr Oakeshott would be one of five crossbenchers in the lower house, along with Greens MP Adam Bandt, Centre Alliance’s Rebekha Sharkie, maverick Bob Katter and independent Andrew Wilkie.
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