With over a month to go until the Australian election I am prepared to call it: The incumbent Liberal party led by Scott Morrison will be returned with an increased majority. Why so? Well, the money v mischief theory has both legs in favour of the Liberal party.
A brief recapitulation of the M v M theory with reference to the current political climate in Australia. The first plank in the theory is that the ‘thoughtful swinging voter’ does not make up his/her mind until they are in the voting booth. They then ask themselves, ‘ what has the current guy in power done for me?’ Money is the main issue here and the current government has done a lot to feather the pockets of the electorate. The over 10% reduction in the petrol price recently to cushion the cost of higher energy prices is a classic. How many electors go out to the polling booth and stop off to buy petrol on the way? Only 1% who do this will be enough to win the election.
The mischief piece is also in favour. Despite being one of the least inspiring, boring and uncontroversial leaders of the opposition, Mr Albanese still finds himself as favourite to win the election in the opinion polls. These statistical flumoxes are so irrelevant and incorrect that they are not worth the paper (or electrons) they are printed on (or stored by). Nevertheless, they find themselves in the news thereby forming the view that the true underdog is the government. Mischievous voters favour the underdog.
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