Federal election 2022: Economics a major factor

Federal election 2022: Economics a major factor

The cost of living and the characteristics voters want in a Prime Minister will have the biggest influence on the outcome of the May 21 Federal Election, according to a leading political expert.

Associate Professor Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University’s School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science says there’s an appetite for change, with the Coalition needing to lose just one seat to be relegated to a minority government.

“It looks easy (for Labor) on paper, but it will be harder in reality,” he says.

“It will be decided by two things: the cost of living – it’s a real kitchen table economics election – and the qualities we want in a Prime Minister.

“The Scott Morrison we thought existed in 2019 is very different from the reality.

“It’s one thing to be criticised by Labor; it’s another when it comes from your own deputy.”

Dr Williams says the cost of living will have an enormous influence on how people vote.

“On paper, Australia is doing really well, but tell that to mums and dads who live in Petrie and they have three kids and can’t make ends meet.”

Too tough to call

While the Moreton Bay Region is home to Queensland’s most marginal seat in Longman, Dr Williams predicts the southern states will have more influence over the result.

“Queensland’s a battleground, but I think the most interesting action is going to be in NSW – they will be bleeding votes in all directions.

“I think Petrie is more volatile than Dickson, which is held by a high-profile member with a bit of a cult following.

“No-one should be surprised if Peter (Dutton) holds on – he’s a seasoned campaigner.”

Dr Williams says sitting Longman Liberal MP Terry Young has a battle ahead of him to retain his seat.

“I would say Longman’s gone – I can’t see Labor not winning that seat.

“It’s the most marginal in Queensland, it’s got economic challenges.

“I would think it would be very sensitive to the hip-pocket nerve.”

In Petrie, Dr Williams says while voters are loyal to Luke Howarth, with hurting hip pockets that could change.

“They will throw it (loyalty) out the window if they’re not getting a good economic deal.

“It’s a very difficult election to call.”

Key dates

Electoral rolls close at 8pm on April 18. If you’re not enrolled to vote, or have moved since the last election, you can enrol or change your details online here.

Nominations for candidates close on April 21, with the declaration of nominations and drawing of the ballot to determine the order of candidates on ballot papers on April 22.

Early voting starts on May 9, with election day on May 21.

If you can’t get to a polling place, you can apply for a postal vote. Applications close on May 18. The earliest the Australian Electoral Commission can send voting packs is April 26.

The electorates

Dickson was named in honour of Sir James Robert Dickson, a leading advocate for Federation, Premier of Queensland from 1898–99 and Minister for Defence in the first Federal Ministry.

The seat is considered marginal, with swing of 4.64 percent required to change hands.

Longman is named after of Irene Maud Longman, the first woman elected to the Queensland Parliament and at the time only the third woman elected to any Parliament in Australia.

Mrs Longman was actively involved in issues relating to the family, women and mental health.

Longman is also considered marginal, with a swing of just 3.28 percent needed for a change of MP.

Petrie takes its name from Andrew Petrie, a noted civil engineer, pioneer, explorer and the first free settler in Brisbane in 1837.

The Australian Electoral Commission considers Petrie to be fairly safe with a swing of 8.4 percent requires to elect a new member.

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