The Prime Minister Scott Morrison just called the Australian federal election for May 18, roughly as late as possible, and something we've known is coming for months. It's a Westminster system with no fixed term legislation so that's the PM's prerogative. Early voting starts April 29 It's widely expected that the incumbent Liberal government (really a Liberal-National coalition but the Nationals are a niche country party and don't really do much) will lose, based on the polling. Here's the Two-Party Preferred polling since 2016 (from Kevin Bonham's poll aggregation): Two Party Preferred is just a reflection of which of the major parties each voter puts higher on their lower house preferential ballot. In the Lower House we use a form of what Americans call "instant runoff voting" and the British call "alternative vote" where you have to number every box for a valid vote. That means we get an exhaustive picture of who voters prefer out of the two major parties, as shown above (though in practice a bunch of seats end up with different Two Candidate Preferred counts). A 52% TPP is nearly always enough to form government, though this is a national vote count and what matters is who wins each individual seat. So there's always the possible that votes will be distributed in a way where they don't win enough seats, such as in 1998 when John Howard's Liberal party won enough seats with 49% of the TPP vote. There's also the Senate, which is elected pretty much like Ireland's parliament. Each state has 12 Senators, half are up for election. The Single Transferrable Vote/Hare Clark system is a proportional representation method that counts individual candidates and involves preferences, but in practice because of "above the line" party voting, in the Senate it's virtually identical to actual prop-rep in how it functions. The quota is about 14% due to 6 candidates being elected. We should see some of the bigger ratbags from the current Senate, like the nazi egg guy, voted out because they don't actually have any popular support having left the parties who got them elected. The Senate is unlikely to see the governing party win a majority either way, so it'll continue to serve as a blocking and reviewing chamber whatever its composition ends up being. The overall balance should not shift much because the broadly defined left is defending 4 of 6 seats in Tasmania and the right is defending 4 of 6 in NSW, and both should probably go 3-3. I'd expect Labor + Greens + Centre Alliance (South Australian small-l liberal types) + maybe Derryn Hinch (just a guy who used to be on TV who hates pedophiles) to have a voting majority in the Senate after the election. HERE'S SOME MAPS via Tally Room Sydney: Melbourne: Brisbane: In Melbourne the rich blue bits in the east dumped the Liberals en masse last year in the state election and might do so again federally. In Sydney most of the blue bits will probably stay about the same. In Brisbane and Queensland more generally, a lot of the blue bits are already close and might flip to Labor. The most inland blue and light green bits in New South Wales on the national map just dumped the Nationals for independents and the minor Shooters Farmers and Fishers party in the state election, and might do the same federally but might not. The issue there is the river is stuffed and water politics are big. In South Australia I think the Liberals are expecting to lose a bunch of seats but it's a small state and only has like 11 to begin with. In Western Australia the Labor share of the vote was so low it will probably rebound. You'll notice I'm not talking about issues. That's because this is Australia, and things are very dumb. The government are genuinely trying to make "electric cars bad" an issue, by attacking a Labor aspirational target of 50% of new car sales in 2030 being electric (this is probably below market expectaitons given Toyota expects to be all electric by then). They're calling it, like, a tax or a ban on petrol cars or a War on the Weekend. It's happening in spite of existing government support for electric vehicles. It's... dumb even for Australia. There will presumably also be an escalation of racist scaremongering because there always is because yelling about BOATS AND BOAT PEOPLE worked once a while ago. If Labor wins they'll keep the refugee prisons, they will probably change how minimum wages are determined but maybe won't do a lot about punitive welfare policies, they might do something modest about climate change, they might do something about the tax rort that favours speculative investment in housing? I dunno. Things happen so much and mean so little and I'm so tired.