Peter Costantini OAM, Managing Director
After a budget full of goodies for almost everyone, the starting gun is about to fire for the 2022 May election.
The Government will be selling the positives of the economy (a strong 3.4% in the last quarter), the almost 50 year low in unemployment at 4%, measures to immediately help with cost of living pressures (the Government is saying around $2,500 for 250,000 families), the promises of big spending on infrastructure and defence, including cyber offensive and defensive capability.
There is no question Australia’s economy is performing well and we have come through Covid far better than most countries – but will this be enough for the Coalition to claw back the deficit in the polls (last three Newspoll has ALP 55 / Coalition 45 TPP).
The ALP starts with 69 seats and needs 77 to govern in its own right (75 with the support of Greens Adam Brandt and Independent Andrew Wilkie). If the 5 point spread in the polls is uniformly replicated across the country on election day then the ALP will win at least 15 seats, plus the new seat of Hawke, giving the ALP a total of 85 seats.
Without this gap closing then a seat-by-seat analysis becomes academic – the ALP will win. However, most political commentators are expecting the polls to tighten as we approach election day.
If the gap does close, then for the Coalition to hold, it needs to ring fence Queensland and Tasmania, win seats like Macquarie (0.2 ALP), Dobel (1.5 ALP) and Gilmore (2.6 ALP) in New South Wales, and win Corangamite (1.0 ALP) in Victoria.
The ALP road to victory will target Longman (3.3 LNP), Brisbane (4.9 LNP) and Flynn (8.7 LNP – retiring Member) in Queensland, Reid (3.2 LIB) in New South Wales, Boothby (1.4 LIB – retiring Member) in South Australia, Bass (0.4 LIB) in Tasmania and Swan (3.2 LIB) and Pearce (5.2 LIB – retiring Member) in Western Australia.
Neither side will leave anything in the tank. It will be hard fought election using every campaign strategy available, including continued personal attacks on the leadership of the major players.