Liberal-National Coalition In Power - 2013-
Australia's conservative opposition swept to power 07 September 2013 in a landslide election victory, ending six years of turbulent Labor Party rule. Tony Abbott’s opposition Liberal-National coalition reflected frustrations by Australians with Labor Party infighting and problems with the nation's economy. With more than 95 percent of the vote counted, the Australian Electoral Commission showed the Liberal/National coalition with 88 seats in the 150-member House of Representatives to Labor's 57. Rudd also announced that he would step down as Labor leader.
Voting in Australia is compulsory. More than 14 million people are listed on electoral rolls, but authorities estimate about a half-million 18- to 24-year-old Australians have never registered to vote, suggesting widespread apathy among young people about the current political discourse.
Discomforting for Abbott was the number of voters in support of the spill motion - almost two-fifths of his party - just 17 months after the prime minister led the Liberal-National coalition to government at the last election. The prime minister was under pressure from colleagues and the public following a series of unpopular decisions made without speaking to members of his government, leading to his mistakes being called "Captain's Calls."
In January 2015, Abbott controversially awarded an Australian knighthood to Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Phillip, before public outrage caused him to agree to leave future awards decisions to the Australia Day Council. Two weeks later, Abbott killed off his controversial paid parental leave scheme policy and conceded he would change his leadership style.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott pleaded with his own party, and the Australian electorate, to support him after he survived a motion to spill the leadership of the Liberal Party on 09 February 2015. Western Australian Liberal Luke Simpkins, who instigated the spill motion, said after the 61-39 leadership vote that Abbott had agreed to better consult the electorate, backbenchers and his ministers.
Malcolm Turnbull 2015-2018
Australia had a new prime minister 15 September 2015 after a surprise leadership spill within the nation's ruling Liberal Party. Former communications minister Malcolm Turnbull replaced outgoing leader Tony Abbott in what is being described as a "coup" by local media outlets. Turnbull has pledged to work with parliamentary colleagues to create a government that is "liberal" in the true sense.
The Senate defied Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull 19 April 2016, just one day into a three-week special sitting of Parliament, handing Turnbull a "double dissolution" trigger and setting the stage for an unprecedented 75-day election campaign. The early vote is a "double dissolution" election, dissolving both the upper and the lower houses of parliament. It is rarely called and is used to end a deadlock between the two houses.
Turnbull's high-risk plan to hold a double dissolution poll on 02 July 2016 came as two new polls found the Coalition tied or even trailing a resurgent Labor opposition. The latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll published on Sunday found the two-party preferred vote tied at 50-50, while Newspoll showed Labor leads the government 51-49. Neither Turnbull nor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had led their party in a campaign before.
Economic management and its plan to stamp out industrial lawlessness would be at the heart of the government's re-election pitch, while Labor would push for a royal commission into the banking sector while arguing its plan to reduce negative gearing, capital gains and superannuation tax concessions would leave it best placed to fund hospitals and schools.
In announcing the date on 08 May 2016, Malcolm Turnbull said, "At this election, Australians will have a very clear choice: to keep the course, maintain the commitment to our national economic plan for growth and jobs or go back to Labor with its high-taxing, higher spending, debt-and-deficit agenda which will stop our nation's transition to the new economy dead in its tracks." Turnbull was looking to win a second three-year term for his Liberal-National coalition. Turnbull defended his decision to call a double-dissolution election, saying it was not a political tactic but needed to restore law and order in the construction sector.
Opinion polls indicated the election could be a close contest between the opposition Labor Party and the ruling coalition led by Turnbull's Liberal Party. Opinion polls had both major parties neck-and-neck as campaigning continued ahead of Australia’s federal election.
While the economy was the critical issue facing most Australians, immigration was another key battleground in the fight for votes. Previous elections had shown that tough talk on asylum seekers and border controls do appeal to large numbers of voters. Boat arrivals ares seen as losing control of the borders and the previous Labor government was savaged for being unable to stop the boats. John Howard stopped the boats after 2001, the current government has stopped boat arrivals. There are all sorts of consequences from that with people locked up on Manus Island and Nauru, but in general the public did not want boats arriving and they were quite happy to ignore the whole issue as long as no more boats arrived.
The eight-week election campaign was one of the longest in decades and was effectively kicked off before Turnbull called the election with the government’s budget announcement in early May. It aimed to entice voters with tax cuts, exactly what everyone predicted from Turnbull. Australia is one of the few countries that has compulsory voting and as a result, many see heading to the polling booth on election day as a civic chore: the sooner it's finished, the better.
A two-party opinion poll conducted by News Limited in the week leading up to the 07 July 2016 election gave the coalition a slight 50.5 percent advantage to Labor's 49.5 percent. With both major parties sharing many policy platforms, proposed reforms by the coalition to Medicare, Australia's universal healthcare scheme, has become the centerpiece for the final day of the election. Under the proposition the coalition would freeze rebates paid to doctors until 2020 which could in turn force medical practitioners to increase their prices, prompting fears that the elderly and young families would face considerably more money out of pocket. Labor's Medicare campaign, which claimed the Government wanted to "privatise" Medicare, featured heavily in the final two weeks of the election race.
South Australian senator Nick Xenophon, leader of the recently-formed Nick Xenophon Team (NXT), was shaping as one of the election's major winners with the minor party looking to win multiple seats across both houses of parliament. NXT would be joined on the crossbench in both houses by the Greens who were optimistic of adding to their current tally of one seat in the House of Representatives via the Melbourne electorates of Wills, Batman and Higgins.
Addressing supporters in Melbourne, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten declared "the Labor Party is back... Three years after the Liberals came to power in a landslide they have lost their mandate... Whatever happens next week Mr Turnbull will never be able to claim that the people of Australia have adopted his ideological agenda."
Australia faced the possibility of another hung parliament as voters swung away from the Coalition, leaving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull potentially having to deal with independents and minor parties to stay in power. Voters dumped more than 10 Coalition MPs with the Government suffering a 2.8 percent swing against it. With more than three-quarters of the vote counted, the Government was on track to claim 67 seats — down from 90.
Parties need to hold at least 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives in order to form a majority government. As of late Saturday night local time, the Australian Electoral Commission said the ruling conservative coalition was leading with 71 seats. The center-left Labor Party had 68 seats, and minor parties or independents had five seats. Results for another six seats were unclear.
Turnbull called the election in a risky bid to sweep out independents in the upper house who were blocking his economic agenda. The Coalition faced a strong challenge from the opposition Labor Party, the Greens and independent candidates, who could win enough seats to hold on to the balance of power in the upper house, a scenario that had frustrated the Coalition since being elected to power with Tony Abbott in 2013.
The election was meant to end a period of political turmoil in which Australia which has had four prime ministers in three years. Instead it left a power vacuum in Canberra and fuelled talk of a challenge to Turnbull’s leadership of the Liberal Party, less than a year after he ousted then prime minister Tony Abbott in a party-room coup.
The leader of Australia's Liberal-National Party (LNP) coalition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, claimed victory 10 July 2016 in the federal election eight days after polls closed. Turnbull's victory speech came hours after the leader of the center-left opposition Labor Party Bill Shorten rang the premier to concede his party would not be able to form a government. It is not clear whether the Liberal-National Party coalition will win enough seats to form a majority government, or be forced to ally with independent and minority party lawmakers to form a minority government. Parties need to hold at least 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives in order to form a majority government.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had come under increasing pressure to resign as his Liberal-National coalition was slumping in the polls. Recent voter opinion surveys showed the Liberal Party lagging far behind the opposition Labor Party ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2019.
Turnbull survived a challenge to his leadership of the conservative party, defeating then-Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton by a vote of 48-35. The prime minister called the vote the day after a revolt by the party’s hard-line conservatives on 21 August 2018 forced him to abandon plans to legalize the nation’s targeted limits of greenhouse gas emissions. Turnbull denounced Dutton and his allies of using “a process of intimidation” to try and pull the Liberals even further to the right. He said the faction has “persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give in to it. I have never given in to bullies.”
Turnbull narrowly won the party leadership vote, but 5 cabinet ministers resigned, and his opponents pressed for a second vote. Turnbull's besieged leadership faced renewed threats on 23 August 2018, after several Liberal Party lawmakers resigned in protest over his premiership. Turnbull said he would not resign but would allow a second leadership vote if a petition calling for it received enough signatures from the party. He went on to add that he would step down if motions for a second contest passed. That would likely make way for Treasurer Scott Morrison to challenge former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. Local media reports said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would also contest for the top job.
Dutton had come under a cloud over revelations that he has financial interests in childcare centers that receive government funding, a possible violation of Australia’s constitution that bans such practices.
After a turbulent week for Australian politics, the country had a new prime minister. Former treasurer Scott Morrison took over from Malcolm Turnbull, who was in power for 3 years. Morrison won the Liberal Party leadership vote, and was sworn in 24 August 2018. Morrison said, "My plan for this country is for an even stronger Australia to keep our economy strong to guarantee the essentials that Australians rely on, to keep Australians safe from terrorism, and all the way to bullying in our schools." Morrison was first elected to parliament more than a decade earlier. He's also served as the immigration minister and was the architect of the country's tough stance against asylum seekers. He pushed a policy of stopping the boats at sea and sending people to camps on south pacific islands.
Turnbull sais he would now resign from parliament. That will trigger a by-election that could threaten the coalition's one-seat majority.
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