As Scott Morrison deflects questions on an early election, Government figures have identified the factors it will depend on.
As Scott Morrison deflects questions on an early election, Government figures have identified the factors it will depend on.

Go or no go: ScoMo’s early election triggers

Australians could be lining up at the polls again this year, with Scott Morrison not ruling out a 2021 poll despite commitments to being a "full-term prime minister".

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has been preparing for a 2021 poll, scrapping the unpopular franking credits policy that damaged Labor at the last election.

There is speculation within the Government that the timing of any election will depend on how the vaccine rollout proceeds, and the strength of the economic recovery.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is focused on pandemic and economic recovery in 2021, not an election. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is focused on pandemic and economic recovery in 2021, not an election. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire

The earliest a full election can be held is August 7, 2021, while the latest is May 21, 2022.

Last year Mr Morrison attempted to shut down speculation about election timing by telling his Coalition party room in October that he would be "a full termer", saying "elections are too hard to win".

But as he continues to lead in the polls, talk of an election later this year increased again after he would not rule out such a move in two separate radio interviews.

There are mixed views among government MPs regarding whether to call an election in the second half of the year, likely September or October, or to hold off until 2022.

Mr Morrison dismissed questions on whether he would call an election this year as "Canberra speculation".

"I have only one for priority this year. That is the getting Australians continually through this pandemic and ensuring the economic recovery is achieved," he told 3AW.

Asked again to rule out a 2021 poll, Mr Morrison said his view had not changed.

"The election is not due until 2022. I've got enough to do in 2021 and so does the rest of the country," he said.

Mr Albanese, in a speech on January 2, said Labor's task was to ensure it was able to form government, whether there was an election this year or next.

"To win the next election, we need to do more than highlight the current Government's deficiencies," he said.

Labor is holding a national conference at the end of March where more policies are expected to be thrashed out.

Some government sources have said election trends showed voters backing incumbent governments, with strong leaders, while a state Labor government in Queensland provided a counterbalance to a Coalition federal government.

But, there are concerns the "high-vis vote" from blue-collar workers who turned to the Coalition in 2019 could be temporary if Labor is able to pivot away from the policies it took to the last election.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Go or no go: ScoMo's early election triggers



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