There are 151 seats up for the vote, but 16 key seats will make the difference when Australians take to the polls in May. The two dates put forward so far are May 18 or May 11 2019. Deciding the date for an election involves three important factors.
These factors are guidelines in the constitution, the timing of the 2019 Budget and the prevalence of holidays during the eligible period.
The 2019 budget was held on April 2, 2019 – paving the way for the Federal Election date to be announced.
The Australian Constitution states what can and cannot be done in parliament, and this includes the timing of both the House of Representatives and Senate elections.
State senators in Australia have fixed six-year terms, and the House of Representatives have half that at three years.
The double dissolution election which took place in 2016 makes things less clear, as the current parliament’s term is cut down by six months.
Although the House of Representatives election could take place until November 2, the next half-senate election needs to occur before senators’ terms expire on June 30.
The Australian Electoral Commission state it can take up to six weeks for the Senate to be finalised.
This means the ideal date for a half-senate election is in May.
Opinion polls for the upcoming election show the Liberal-National Coalition, currently in power, in front with 39 percent of the vote.
Closely behind with just three percent difference is the Australia Labour Party with 36 percent.
The Australian Greens are next on 10 percent, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation at seven percent and other parties on eight percent.
This poll was undertaken by Guardian Essential between March 25-29 and asked 1,085 respondents.
One of the points which may sway the vote is how each of the two parties plans to tackle climate change.
Environmental, Social and Governance Issues (ESG) remain at the forefront of Australian national interest.
With this emotive topic in mind, the opposition Labour party has recently released its climate change policy, containing a wealth of targets.
Labour’s policies focus on a 45 percent cut in emissions, a promise of 50 percent of power to come from renewables by 2030, plans to provide additional investment to support large-scale renewable generation and a target of 50 percent of new cars to be electric vehicles by 2030.
Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), recently delivered a speech at a meeting at the G20 where she recommended the need to integrate ESG factors in the investment process to policymakers and regulators.
On the issue of climate change, she commented; “Policymakers have a big part to play when it comes to tackling the issue of climate change, and by working more closely with the Australian fund management industry – which is the third largest in the world, there is a real chance to bring about sustainable change.”