The Liberal party’s gamble in handing Malcolm Turnbull the leadership looks set to pay off, with analysts predicting a narrow victory for his center-right Liberal-National Coalition in Australia’s July 2 federal election. However, the bad news for the eventual winner may be dealing with a hostile Senate, with neither major party potentially able to force through reforms.
While Australians were still coming to terms with Britain’s shock Brexit vote to leave the European Union (EU), the prime minister declared on June 26 that only stable majority government and experienced leadership would deliver more jobs and economic growth for the world’s 12th largest economy.
“At a time of uncertainty, the last thing we need is a Parliament in disarray,” Turnbull said at his Liberal party’s official campaign launch in Sydney.
“[If] we falter in our plan to transition the economy, there is a real risk of Australia falling off the back of the pack of leading economies,” he warned.
Fortunately for Turnbull, Australian voters appear to have reacted to Brexit exactly as his economic-focused party might have hoped for. After starting the campaign deadlocked, the Australian newspaper reported on June 27 that the Coalition had taken a 51 percent to 49 percent two-party preferred lead over the main opposition Labor party as the campaign entered into its final week – the first time it had pulled ahead since mid-March.