Australia’s election result could provide some much-needed stability
Australia sprang an election surprise. All the pre-election polls had the Labor opposition taking power from the centre-right Liberal National Party (LNP). However, within a few hours from the start of vote counting it became apparent that Scott Morrison (the Prime Minister) and his coalition would not only win but achieve an absolute majority in Parliament – thus avoiding the complication of relying on minor parties or independents to govern.
Known for its merry-go-round of Prime Ministers (six in the last nine years) there is now a chance of at least three years of stability as that is the theoretical duration of the Australian election cycle. The public is weary of political machinations and flip-flops. Mr Morrison has now earned himself a level of authority not enjoyed by any recent holders of the top job. We hope it is used wisely.
The European Union goes to the polls
May also saw elections in the European Union, where all 28-member states elect representatives to the European Parliament. The Brexit Party (a single-issue Party just a few months old) headed by Nigel Farage, stormed across the line in the UK with 32% of the vote, whilst the Conservatives limped home in 5th place with just 9% of the vote. The Labour Party secured 14%, the Liberal Democrats 19% and the Greens 11%. The poor showing by the Conservatives and Labour reflects disillusionment about the way the Brexit process has been handled. Farage taps into populist sentiments and is an accomplished media performer – something that matters a lot in modern day politics. The next general election in the UK is scheduled for 2022 and the performance by Farage and his team is a significant shot across the bows of both major parties.