It is never too early to start placing bets. Especially in politics.
In 2019, Australians will be headed to the polls for the federal election.
For many electorates it feels like we have just left federal election mode, with byelections still glimmering in the rear view mirror.
In this post-dual citizenship saga world, one can envisage that all candidates and their family trees will be under closer-than-usual scrutiny. There are a lot of interesting players in the Tasmanian ring that will be eager to leave their old passports behind.
Ousted senator Jacqui Lambie is circling to climb back in the ring. She’ll be up against her replacement Steve Martin, a face-off that is not likely to see any love lost. Beyond the individual identities, it will be interesting to see how parties respond to increased social mores that have emerged in the past four years.
The Liberals have copped flack for the lack of women occupying winnable seats on their tickets. Will the preselectors bow to pressure? In the lead up to the byelection, the party’s former Senate candidate Sally Chandler called out the “preselection stacking”, and said it was disgraceful the party had only had two female senators, as opposed to up to 24 male counterparts.
Beyond gender, it will be interesting to see how the down-turn in the Greens votes will wash up federally.
The state-started party recorded one of its worst election results in decades at the March 3 Tasmanian election. The party this week confirmed it would once again put forward former MHA and now senator Nick McKim as its lead candidate.
While the players are hazily sketched in, the battleground remains to be decided. It is unlikely that we will ever see an election where health is not played as a major trump. Boil points are beginning to form around immigration again, flared this week by senator Fraser Anning’s Parliament speech. With Pauline Hanson back in the game, it’s easy to see the two tic-tacking off each other to bring immigration into dominant headlines.
If you are still confused, fear not. The robocalls will be here soon enough to tell us how to vote.