Australia: Early Voting Begins Ahead Of The May 21 Election
Australia-Early voting began on Monday in Australia ahead of the May 21 election. Voters began casting their ballots at 550 voting stations across Australia. The opposition party hopes that the first ballot will reflect its lead over the government in opinion polls. The two new opinion polls also showed the centre-left Labor Party opposition extended its lead over Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s party.
Election in Australia
Every person in Australia needs to vote in the election as it is compulsory. Reportedly, nearly 17 million adults in a population of 26 million people are expected to vote in the May 21 election. Australia is one of the only English-speaking nations to have compulsory voting.
Pre-poll voting is made available for people who are unable to vote on May 21 because of work or travel. People conscious of the risks of Covid-19 are also expected to vote early to avoid crowds on May 21.
The political environment in Australia
Ahead of the May 21 election, the opposition made some great claims. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said that government senators were discouraging people from voting early in the hope that the Labor Party’s lead would evaporate before election day. Albanese further said that people should vote whenever it’s convenient for them.
However, Scott Morrison had a different take on this matter. He said many voters had yet to decide which candidate they will support. Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition is now seeking a rare fourth three-year term in the country. In 2019, Morrison defied most opinion polls by leading his coalition to a victory.
Experts take on the election
Experts claim that the government’s popularity has been harmed by the Australian central bank’s decision to raise interest rates. For the first time in 11 years, the interest rates have been raised in Australia to curb inflation. Experts think that the decision might affect the final result.