Canberra: Australia will vote in a general election on May 18, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday.
The polls would decide whether Morrison’s centre-right Liberal-National Coalition government will retain power or the opposition Labor Party led by Bill Shorten wins. If the Labour party wins, then Australia would see its seventh leader in just over a decade, CNN reported.
Morrison’s coalition government is seeking re-election in the backdrop of slashing of tax rates and economic stability.
“At this election, th
ere is a clear choice. It is a choice that will determine the economy that Australians live in, not just for the next three years but for the next decade,” Morrison told reporters after meeting with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove at his residence here.
Morrison’s administration has become a minority government after it lost multiple seats due to resignations. The Liberal-National Coalition government is seeking to win additional seats in the crucial federal election to strengthen itself and to retake majority power.
The Australian Parliament has two houses — the House of Representatives and the Senate. For gaining a majority, a government should get at least 151 seats in the lower house.
In the last 12 years, no Australian prime minister has faced re-election, since John Howard lost the 2007 federal election to Labor Party’s Kevin Rudd. However, Rudd was replaced by Julia Gillard before the 2010 election. Gillard went on to become the nation’s first female premier.
However, Rudd staged a dramatic comeback in a leadership spill in 2013 after Gillard’s administration was forced into a minority government. Rudd’s helm as prime minister was, however, short-lived as Tony Abbott of Liberal party came to power in the 2013 election.
In Australian politics, a leadership spill implies that the leadership of a ruling parliamentary party is vacant and is eligible for re-election. This may include leader and deputy leader in both Houses (House of Representatives and Senate) of the Australian Parliament or just the leader.
The prime ministerial post became a musical chair yet again after Malcolm Turnbull came to power in 2015 after Abbott was forced out of the Liberal party as he was unpopular with the people.
Instability continued in the post after Turnbull was ousted from power by Morrison in a leadership vote in August last year.