The Rendon Group
Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.
The Federal Elections in Australia
Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten in Melbourne on Saturday. (Paul Crock/AFP – Getty Images)
This week’s snapshot focuses on the Australian federal elections held on 02JUL. Recently, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tried to leverage the political and financial chaos of ‘Brexit’ to advocate for stable government and the return of the conservative Liberal-National coalition. Rhetoric around the election has also focused on Australia’s immigration policies. The election is currently very close between the Liberal-National coalition and the Labour party. Several small parties have gained seats in Parliament in a move that some say is emblematic of the Australian public’s dissatisfaction with their government. Turnbull has taken responsibility for his party’s performance at the polls.
News summary of events during the week of 27JUN16 – 05JUL16
- 27JUN: PM Malcolm Turnbull announced that if he is re-elected in the upcoming elections on 02JUL, Australia will team up with New Zealand to counter the impact of Brexit. (EFE)
- 30JUN: Tough border protection and asylum-seeker policies are critical to preserve multiculturalism, PM Turnbull said, pointing to Britain’s vote to exit the EU because of “anxiety over immigration.” (AFP)
- 01JUL: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton highlighted the need for tough border controls to prevent the entry of terrorists into the country and said security will be key in the national elections. (EFE)
- 01JUL: Growing distrust and disillusionment with the political establishment in Australia has prompted two young voters to create a party that would allow citizens to have a say in every bill that comes before parliament. (AFP)
- 02JUL: The prime minister and opposition leader delivered their final pitches to voters on 01JUL after a marathon eight-week campaign. (BBC)
- 02JUL: Early exit polls showed the outcome too close to call with conservative leader Malcolm Turnbull and Labor challenger Bill Shorten neck and neck. (AFP)
- 02JUL: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia and his conservative Liberal National coalition could lose more than 10 seats in Parliament, according to early election returns on Saturday, which might leave it unable to form a majority government. (NYT)
- 03JUL: Prime Minister Turnbull said Australians could be forced to wait until the end of next week to find out who is in charge of their government after a knife-edge national election raised the prospect of a hung parliament. (AP)
- 04JUL: Economists warned a hung parliament risks Australia’s coveted AAA credit rating with the inconclusive result of weekend elections seen as bad news for the economy and investment markets. (AFP)
- 05JUL: Prime Minister Turnbull rejected calls for him to resign after the weekend’s election, as senior government figures pleaded against infighting. (AFP)
- 05JUL: The Australian Broadcasting Company called 68 seats for the ruling Liberal-National coalition, 67 seats for Labor and five for independents and minor parties. (BBC)
Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about the elections in Australia
- @adamgartrell – Adam Gartrell, National Political Correspondent, The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age
- @MarkDiStef – Mark Di Stefano, Political Editor, BuzzFeedOz
- @nicchristensen – Nic Christensen, Media and Technology Editor, @mUmbrellanews
- @sarahelks – Sarah Elks, Queensland Political Reporter, The Australian
- @workmanalice – Alice Workman, Political Reporter, Buzzfeed Oz Politics
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the Australian elections
Martin Neil Baily and Warwick J. McKibbin, Senior Fellow of Economic Studies and Nonresident Senior Fellow of Economic Studies, Brookings
“High taxes, large government, poorly regulated markets (particularly labour markets), excessive debt and poor infrastructure undermine the drivers of growth. The realities of a fragile global economy and the need to build a solid foundation to generate productivity growth in Australia must be at the core of the policies that follow this election campaign.”
- “What is the role of government in a modern economy? The case of Australia,” Brookings, 01JUL2016
Graham Richardson, Political Analyst and former Labor lawmaker
“He’ll be in a weak position. The Liberals are going to look at tonight, and feel pretty sick and sorry.”
- “Australian Election Remains Tight as Gamble on Early Polls Backfires,” Wall Street Journal, 02JUL2016
Nick Economou, Senior Lecturer of Australian Politics, Monash University
“I don’t think (anyone) thought it would be quite like this, but it’s reminiscent of a series of Australian state elections we’ve had in recent times, so perhaps this is the new norm where everyone is on a knife edge and you get a number of small party MPs. [Pauline Hanson is] polling really strongly in Queensland, and she’ll get a Senate seat.”
- “Hung parliament a possibility after tight Australian election,” CNN, 02JUL2016
Geoff Robinson, Political Scientist, Deakin University
“The government’s ‘jobs-and-growth’ mantra didn’t really attract that much attention and probably Labor did make up ground on the Medicare issue.”
- “Tight election may leave Australia with hung parliament,” AP, 02JUL2016
Peter Hartcher, Political Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Malcolm Turnbull has completed his transformation from the progressive firebrand to ambassador for the conservative brand.”
- “Australian prime minister welcomes ‘exciting’ era of change,” AP, 01JUL2016
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the elections in Australia
- Australia Will Team Up with New Zealand to Counter Brexit Fallout
Media: EFE (Spain)
Date: 30 June 2016
SYDNEY – If he is re-elected in the upcoming elections on Saturday, Australia will team up with New Zealand to counter the impact of Brexit, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Monday.
Speaking to journalists, Turnbull said the two countries share many common interests with regards to trade and free movement of people.
- Australian party crowdsources democracy with online voting
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 01 July 2016
SYDNEY (AFP) – Growing distrust and disillusionment with the political establishment in Australia has prompted two young voters to create a party that would allow citizens to have a say in every bill that comes before parliament.
Australians go to the polls on Saturday (July 2), with major policy battlegrounds between parties including the economy, immigration, gay marriage and climate change.
- Hung parliament a possibility after tight Australian election
Byline: Ben Westcott
Date: 02 July 2016
(CNN)Australia’s national election is too close to call after a large protest vote against the government left the country at risk of its second hung parliament in six years.
Late Saturday night, the center-right Liberal/National Coalition government was fighting to gain a majority government of 76 seats, with the result likely to remain unknown on election night.
- Australian PM Turnbull confident of forming government
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 02 July 2016
Canberra, July 2, 2016 (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was confident of forming a government, despite Saturday’s national elections failing to give his conservative coalition a clear victory.
“Based on the advice I have from the party officials, we can have every confidence that we will form a coalition majority government in the next parliament,” the 61-year-old leader of the Liberal/National coalition told supporters early Sunday.
- Australians could wait until next week for election result
Media: Associated Press
Date: 03 July 2016
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australians could be forced to wait until the end of next week to find out who is in charge of their government after a knife-edge national election raised the prospect of a hung parliament, the prime minister said on Sunday.
The gamble by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call a rare early election may have failed, with his conservative Liberal Party-led coalition on track to lose a swathe of seats in the House of Representatives — and potentially control of the country.