POLITICS

Australians Could Be Heading To The Polls Earlier Than Expected

The speculation of an early federal election being called comes ahead of a jam-packed schedule in the world of Australian politics.

12/06/2017 8:22 PM AEST | Updated 12/06/2017 8:23 PM AEST
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Senior figures within the Liberal and Labor parties have reportedly begun preparations for an early election, predicted to be in either August or September next year, Fairfax media has reported.

The speculation that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may call an election just two years into the Coalition's current three-year term comes ahead of a series of state elections in 2018 and early 2019, the dates of which have already been fixed.

Elections have been scheduled for Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland next year, while New South Wales will follow soon after in March 2019.

In addition to this, senators elected to half-terms following last year's double dissolution election will also be required to face voters by June 30, 2019. While the latest date for a simultaneous House of Representatives and Senate election would be May 18.

Fairfax reports that a May 18 election in 2019 would be highly unlikely given the need for an election campaign that would most likely see Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten campaigning over Easter and Anzac Day.

Given the jam-packed schedule, a senior NSW Liberal involved in campaigns told Fairfax that their "money would be on everything being ready to go in a year from now. You want the option to go early".

However, it's not just stirrings from within the Liberal party that have let speculation flourish, with a senior Labor source also telling Fairfax the "very, very likely window" for the federal election would be August to September next year.

Current opinion polls suggest that if a snap election were to be held now, a Labor government could take office. This follows last year's close federal election in which the Coalition won 76 seats in the House of Representatives, while Labor followed closely behind with 69.


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