Complacency Precedes Defeat
An analysis of data over emotion suggests that the next Federal election may not be a sure thing for the government.
The Australian Parliament has resumed this week, and the early indications are that we can expect an election this year. That is if the government think they can win!
And why wouldn't they think that?
The opposition leader is hopeless, and the public seems to be rewarding leaders who have 'saved' them from Corona. The early data suggests the economy is rebounding, and everything should be peachy for a government to win.
They have even scheduled a convenient gap in the sitting schedule, right around the earliest a regular election can be called ( 7 August 2021).
But an election victory may yet prove more challenging for the government than may appear right now.
Electors have a notoriously short memory. The positive sentiments are quickly replaced when their economic circumstances turn sour. That will be tested as the river of job-keeper and job-seeker money is turned off.
Many industries are directly feeling the impact of the China trade battle, and the flow-on effects will affect many more. The pain will be particularly acute within primary industries that provide life support to a number of rural and regional communities. These are generally in coalition seats.
There is also the question of the government's slender majority. It currently holds 77 seats. Labour has 68; there are three left-leaning independents, one Green, one Centre Alliance and Bob Katter.
It's reasonable to expect two of the independents to hold their seats. The third (Warringah) will likely go back to the Liberals ( but may not). The other minor party representation will likely remain the same.
Throw the creation of a new seat and a couple being removed due to redistributions, and it is a potential cauldron of trouble for anyone thinking this could be a coalition walkover.
It means the Coalition cannot afford to lose any seats - even the super-marginal ones like Chisolm.
Right now, the Prime Minister is at the top of his game and is a clear favourite to win the next Federal election, but anyone writing off Labor at this stage of the game needs to have a closer look at the numbers.
In politics, complacency often precedes defeat.