Left Menu
Development News Edition

Australian polls: Labor-Conservative last push offering reform agenda to voters

Devdiscourse News Desk | Canberra | Updated: 16-05-2019 14:22 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 13:19 IST
Australian polls: Labor-Conservative last push offering reform agenda to voters
The opposing candidates begged voters to see Saturday's ballot as essentially a fight between Morrison's aspirations and Shorten's reforms. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Australia's political leaders on Thursday made their last big pitch to voters ahead of a May 18 election, with the opposition Labor leader calling for generational change and conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison promising economic stability. In contrasting campaigns, Labor leader Bill Shorten offered voters an egalitarian dream and reform agenda, saying "It's Time" for a change, while Morrison warned a change to Labor would risk the nation's long-held economic prosperity.

While Morrison's re-election prospects have been lifted by tightening polls after early fears he would lose decisively, Labor is still on track to end six years of conservative rule. An Essential Poll for The Guardian newspaper on Thursday showed Labor ahead of Morrison's coalition government by a margin of 51.5-48.5 on a two-party preferred basis where votes are distributed until a winner is declared.

Both Morrison and Shorten have campaigned urgently since the election was called last month, squeezing in trips to the outback north and island south, along with obligatory big city tours. On Thursday, Morrison delivered his last major campaign speech in Canberra, while Shorten gave his in Sydney. The opposing candidates begged voters to see Saturday's ballot as essentially a fight between Morrison's aspirations and Shorten's reforms.

"I will burn for you every day, every single day, so you can achieve your ambitions, your aspirations, your desires. That is what's at the top of my agenda," said Morrison. While Morrison promised stability, Shorten promised "real change", reducing inequality through tax reform, higher wages and better public infrastructure.

"Our political opponents stand where they always have stood - against change, against progress, and are servants to the same vested interests - the big banks and big business," Shorten said.


Climate change policy has consistently polled as one of the most significant issues this election, prompting a movement in marginal seats to remove government hard-right politicians who champion coal-fired power. "I promise that we will send a message to the world, that when it comes to climate change Australia is back in the fight," said Shorten.

"We will take this emergency seriously, and we will not just leave it to other countries or to the next generation." If Labor wins it plans to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach 50 per cent renewable power by 2030.

Morrison's coalition has committed to a 26 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 under the Paris Accord, but some in his government question the need for that and the coalition remains staunchly in favour of coal-fired power in Australia. Morrison's Liberal-led coalition and centre-left Labor are vying for a majority share of 151 lower house seats to form a government. There are also 76 Senate spots which determine how difficult it will be for the next government to enact policy.

While Morrison, who took over as prime minister last year amid party infighting, has kept the government within reach of an election upset, his path to victory remains narrow. "Realistically, Morrison will require everything to go right," said Chris Salisbury, professor of political science at the University of Queensland. "He will need a number of surprising results, and the polls show this is unlikely."


Morrison has tied his campaign to economic management, after announcing in April the government would deliver the country's first surplus in more than a decade. But the promise of economic stability has been partially undermined by stagnant wage rises, high costs of living and falling house prices. Shortly before Morrison delivered his Canberra speech, Australia's unemployment rate rose to the highest in eight months.

Labor, a party with deep ties to the union movement, has promised to abolish several properties and share investment tax concessions primarily aimed at Australia's wealthiest. It has been able to pledge bigger budget surpluses, while also ramping up spending on health and education, which directly challenges the government's re-election platform.



Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...


Latest News

Pompeo calls Nasdaq's strict rules a model to guard against fraudulent Chinese companies

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday warned American investors against fraudulent accounting practices at China-based companies and said the Nasdaqs recent decision to tighten listing rules for such players should be a model for ...

'Power to the people': Floyd's brother talks at NYC memorial

New Yorkers stayed on the streets of New York City Thursday for another day of protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, including at a memorial service at the site where police used batons against demonstrators who were out past the c...

Australia's most populous state files suit to stop Black Lives Matter protest

Australias most populous state has lodged a legal application to stop a Black Lives Matter protest occurring in Sydney, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.Thousands of people have pledged to attend a protest organised in Sydney...

Golf-European Tour

Colin Montgomerie has welcomed the return of golfs European Tour in July amid the COVID-19 pandemic but says he feels sorry for younger players due to the less lucrative schedule. Golfs calendar has been decimated by the novel coronavirus o...

Give Feedback