Federal Election 2016
In making his announcement, the Prime Minister said this election will be very clear choice between the Coalition’s plans for jobs and growth or Labor’s plan for higher taxes which, he said, would hinder the nation’s transition to the new economy. Mr Turnbull again asserted the importance of the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission as ‘vital economic reform’ and critical to the nation’s continued success.
In response, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said this election will be a referendum on jobs, schools, a fairer tax system and keeping Medicare in public hands. Mr Shorten said the Labor Party entered the campaign as underdogs, but stood united and ready for the election.
Tax is shaping up to be a key battleground of this election after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten refused to support Malcolm Turnbull’s business tax cuts, among the most important initiatives in the Government’s budget handed down last Tuesday.
The Senate outcome from this election will be of particular interest, with all 76 Senators vacating their seats under the double dissolution and a new method of voting in place following passage of reforms earlier this year – it is remains to be seen whether these voting changes will significantly re-shape the Senate.
At nearly eight weeks, this will be one of the longest election campaigns in the nation’s history beaten only by Robert Menzies’ 94-day campaign in 1954, an era before television, social media and the 24-hour news cycle. A lengthy campaign is not without risk for the Prime Minister and will challenge the Coalition’s perseverance and ability to maintain momentum – and the public’s interest.