Pre-emptive campaign trail? Scott Morrison announces tour of NSW, Vic

Nov 05, 2021
An upcoming tour of NSW and Victoria is leading to talk of a sooner-rather-than-later federal election date. Source: Getty

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office has announced that following his return from the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, he will embark on a week-long tour of New South Wales and Victoria.

The Australian newspaper has suggested that Morrison’s freshly announced trip is likely a people-pleasing mission, constructed particularly to “reconnect with voters personally” and “focus on the economic recovery and the lifting of restrictions”.

The Australian speculates that this trip doubles as an attempt to help the government recover from the lowest poll results since December 2018. The last time the polls showed such a low primary vote result for the Coalition was just six months prior to the last election.

According to official government records, the next federal election must occur on or before May 21, 2022. The announcement of this trip has led some to predict that the next federal election will occur sooner rather than later.

An ABC News investigation in late September reported that the election is most likely to occur on a weekend in March, noting that a federal election has never been held in January or February in Australia’s voting history. Additionally, there is a constitutional rule that specifies that a federal election campaign must run for five weeks.

The Australian confirms this and adds that this trip is likely a “move to steer the government’s political agenda back to a domestic footing” before the announcement of an election, saying, “the Prime Minister will spend the week visiting communities across both states in what Liberal Party sources consider to be a pre-election campaign salvo.”

Whether this trip will bolster public support for the Coalition or not remains to be seen, but it is expected to distract from the ongoing feud between Morrison and French President Emmanuel Macron, and the slow national vaccine roll out.

Do you think this tour of NSW and Vic will help the PM's approval rating?

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