Election 2019 update
21 May 2019
Defying both the polling and the pundits, Scott Morrison and the Coalition have been returned for a third term of government. While counting is still underway, particularly for the Senate, the Coalition will be able to form a majority government.
We are eagerly awaiting the Prime Minister to announce his Ministry. While there will be a significant number of changes as former Ministers have retired and others will be promoted, we expect that the Coalition economic team will remain relatively stable. The FPA has enjoyed a productive and collaborative working relationship with the Coalition over the last term of government and we are optimistic this will continue into the next term.
The Prime Minister has indicated that Parliament may not be able to sit before the end of the financial year due to the late return of the writs. This means the Coalition would be forced to delay its proposed changes to the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset for 2018-19, which were announced in the April budget. These changes were to be made in time for 2018-19 income tax returns, but could form part of a second instalment later in 2019-20.
14 May 2019
Both Labor and the Coalition have held their campaign launches, nearly 2.2 million prepoll votes have already been cast and we are three days away from the election. In this final Election Update, we take a final look a key policy differences between Labor and the Coalition in areas such as financial services, tax, superannuation and industrial relations.
Download the comparison document
30 April 2019
The Coalition has a minimal policy platform in 2019 and is focussing on its perceived strength in managing the economy. Economic management is a perennial concern for voters, with it consistently ranking in the top five issues. The most recent Ipsos Issues Monitor poll has economic management being a key issue for 23 per cent of voters. While this is slightly down on 2016 levels of 30 per cent, a string of recent soft economic results and a weak property market will keep this issue at the centre of the campaign.
Labor has a much more extensive policy platform, which includes significant spending on healthcare. The cost of health care is the number one issue for voters in the Australian Futures Project/Roy Morgan polling, with 32 per cent of voters saying this is a concern.
Both sides are responding to cost of living concerns from voters – the number two issue from the Ipsos Issues Monitor. However, this concern likely reflects poor wage growth rather than increasing costs with the ABS finding that inflation was at a standstill for the March quarter. The annualised rate of 1.3 per cent will put pressure on the RBA to cut official interest rates at its next meeting on 7 May 2019 – the week before the election.
The biggest recent change in voter issues has been the increased importance voters are placing on environmental issues. It is now solidly a top five issue and has grown considerably since the 2016 election. Ipsos, Roy Morgan and ABC’s Vote Compass all put environmental issues at between 20 and 30 per cent with a large part of this growth coming from the under 34 demographic. The Australian Electoral Commission has reported a record enrolment rate for young Australians at 88.8 per cent, although our ageing population means the overall proportion of young voters remains relatively stable.
16 April 2019
With Scott Morrison announcing the federal election will be conducted on Saturday 18 May, the major parties have moved from unofficial pseudo-campaigning to official actual campaigning.
The electoral rolls are open until tomorrow – Thursday 18 April. If you need to enrol or change your enrolled address you can do so at www.aec.gov.au. Candidate nominations close next Tuesday 23 April, so by mid-next week we should have a complete list of candidates for House and Senate seats across the country.
The Coalition has spent the first week of the campaign continuing its attack on Labor for its tax policies and, in particular, its franking credits policy. Should Labor be elected, the fate of this policy will be decided in the Senate with half of Senators facing re-election on 18 May.
Centre Alliance Party (formerly the Nick Xenophon Team) has confirmed that it doesn’t support Labor’s franking credits policy on the grounds that it is unfair to retirees who have structured their investments around the current franking credit rules. Centre Alliance joins most of the cross-bench which is opposed to Labor’s policy. Only the Greens have offered their support. Neither of Centre Alliance’s two Senators will face the voters this year and they will be looking to add to their representation with another Senate seat in South Australia.
Three Greens Senators and one each from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives have terms that run until 2022 and are also safe. The remainder of the cross-bench, including six Greens Senators and one from One Nation are up for re-election.
Election to the Senate will be substantially more difficult in 2019 than it was in 2016, when a full Senate election resulted in a much lower than usual quota to be successful. While predicting the outcome of the Senate is difficult, the higher quote should favour more established parties over the independents.
The FPA will continue to bring you updates throughout the campaign on issues that are relevant to financial planners.