What Newspoll showed was that there had been no change in the Government’s position, and they continued to trail the ALP by 53 to 47 two party preferred.
For the Government they would have been looking for confirmation that Ipsos was not a ‘once off’ and for the ALP they would have sighed a collective sigh of relief that Newspoll hadn’t tightened on the back of the border security debate.
This does not mean that border security goes away as an issue, it just means in the absence of a new line of attack the media in particular had moved on.
For Labor during the federal campaign proper, they will be hoping that there are literally not any boats on the horizon which would only serve to derail their campaign strategy. Labor do not want boats as an issue during the federal campaign.
The budget will be bought down on 2 April 2019, a month earlier than usual. This budget is unique in that the Prime Minister will very soon after the budget call the Federal election, most likely for May 18.
This means any of the new budget measures are essentially election commitments and will only be implemented if the Morrison Government is re-elected.
Depending on the budget giveaways, Labor will also have to very quickly decide (depending on what the giveaways might be) whether to support some of them or not. The most obvious will be potential personal income tax cuts. Labor has its own plan for personal tax cuts so expect this is to be a potential policy battlefield.
The Morrison Government will be hoping to use the budget as a spring board into the election on its preferred policy ground of superior economic management. This will be underpinned by the budget being back in surplus sooner than planned and contrasted against Labors $200 billion tax grab and spending commitments.
A Royal Commission into the disability sector will be announced very soon and will run parallel with the Aged Care Royal Commission.
As the Prime Minister himself has said this inquiry will be just as big and revealing as the Banking Royal Commission.
With two of our communities most vulnerable groups aged citizens and those with disabilities subject to a Royal Commission it will really hold up a mirror to Australia as a nation and how we treat some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The major challenge going forward for our policy makers and Governments is following the Royal Commissions and subsequent reports and recommendations, the cost of fixing both will no doubt run into the billions of dollars.
The inevitable question will be who and how will the changes that will no doubt need to be made be paid for. That is going to be a major challenge for the nation as a whole.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jody Fassina is the Managing Director of Insight Strategy and has served as a strategic adviser to MedTech and pharmaceutical stakeholders.