Australian 2019 Election: The 5 Takeways
In a shock to the true believers of the Left, sitting Coalition PM Scott Morrison has pulled off an electoral win, albeit one that feels based on being nothing to anyone.
Australians have woken up today gobsmacked at a 2019 Election result that no one, particularly the opinion polls, picked.
A result that is predicated on there being no change.
Of maintaining the status quo.
And with the Coalition either in minority government or a seat up on where the stood during the last electoral term.
In the aftermath, what are the five key takeaways?
Australians want a Republic.
What, I hear you say, there was NO mention of the end of Constitutional Monarchy during this election. You’re right, got me, but we effectively just had something akin to a Presidential Election. Scott Morrison, on the back of consistently negative polling for then Opposition leader Bill Shorten, made the election about two things — fear of change and personality. Kind of ironic given the number of leadership changes we saw for the Coalition over the past three years but it can’t be denied Scomo put himself up as a Presidential style candidate and somehow this resonated with people. This IS NOT to pin the loss solely on Shorten, but there is no doubt his unpopularity did play into this. So let’s get on with a Republic NOW.
Labor rules the States.
With WA, Queensland, Victoria and both the Territories being managed by State Labor governments, the electorate did what it often does and opted for the opposite at a Federal level. This in and of itself is not a bad thing, making for a more robust exchange between different political philosophies and keeping a check on ensuring a range of political ideas are thrashed out, with the wider electorate feeling it is represented in some way — if not at the State level then the Federal, or vice versa.
Too much, too soon.
Simply, as visionary a party as Labor puts itself out to be and has proven to be in the past (think Hawke/Keating), this policy agenda was too much for the current political climate. The Coaltion saw this and used it to its advantage. It was admirable of Labor to stick to its reform agenda, but tone deaf of it not to listen more and find a nuanced way to sell that agenda or roll it out at a more measured pace.
The Deep North.
It’s not news, but the north, specifically Queensland, is Australia’s Deep South. As opposed to often being conservative Red (for Republican) in the USA, it is conservative Blue for Liberal/National (there’s a mindfuck for you). The swing to the conservatives was huge there and Labor has a lot of ground to make up reconnecting with the people of Queensland. And they can. The fact that Queensland voted in a female progressive candidate for their State Premier means Labor can connect with voters in the north. But it has lost its way and cannot win goverment again unless it pulls back a few seats there.
Pressure is on Scomo.
The Right deserves praise for winning an election that seemed so over and done with Sportsbet paid out on Labor a few days out. And while they may have won the election based on the politics of fear and without any real policy platform, they won it nonetheless. HOWEVER…they win at a time where there could be some fierce economic headwinds before them. I predict over the next term that they will be challenged in a way a Coalition government has not been challenged in a long time. They will struggle with the surplus promises and will possibly have to recalibrate their tax cuts. So, the pressure is on Josh Frydenberg as Treasurer and Morrison as PM. They may also end up in either minority goverment or with the slimmest of majorities, and a Senate that doesn’t want to play. This will not be an easy time for them and the grins of winning might quickly fade
The 2019 Federal Election may be done and mostly dusted — but the story really lies in what comes next for both sides of politics.
In memory of the great one, I leave you with…