Dennis Shanahan of The Australian, who is always well plugged into government’s line of tactical thinking, wrote on Monday on the likelihood of a federal election in the second half of this year ($) rather than the first half of the next, that being the full extent of the window for a normal election of the House of Representatives and half the Senate. This basically boils down to a view that the government’s perceived current dominance means the sooner it goes the better, tempered by a desire to avoid an election in winter.
An unidentified Liberal MP quoted in The Australian ($) said they were “almost certain” they were “almost certain” the election would be in August or September, although another felt November more likely since an earlier election would be seen as too opportunistic. Why November would be a whole lot better on that count is unclear, since there seems to be no particular obstacle to Morrison holding out until May next year, by which time it will have been a full three years since the last election. For what it’s worth, the latter MP was also quoted saying it “also depends on if Labor ditch Anthony Albanese and get someone more electable”.
In more definite news for the year ahead, the Western Australian state election is set for March 13 — I am presently furiously hard at work on my election guide, which I can assure those of you who like that kind of thing will be a classic of its genre. As for opinion polling, the silly season proved no obstacle to Newspoll last year, which opened its account with a poll conducted from Wednesday, January 8 and Saturday, January 11, so there may be action on that front this or (probably more likely) next weekend.