Poll turmoil looms: top scribe


Australia is headed for a series of inconclusive federal elections that could shatter the public’s faith in our democratic system, according to one of this nation’s most respected politics scribes.

The stark warning came yesterday in an article penned for online news source inQueensland by its national politics commentator Dennis Atkins.

His grim warning came two-thirds of the way through an excellent article excoriating Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his long record of opposing real action on climate change and his current problems getting his junior Coalition partner to sign up to a net zero emissions target by 2050.

Almost as if he wanted to delay or perhaps even disguise the grim warning he still wanted to share, Atkins wrote well into his essay: Australia is headed to a set of national elections which will determine the next federal government.

Federal elections in the nation’s history have historically been determined by just one polling day (okay, two for the purests) with a government formed regardless of how much of a clifffhanger it turned out to be. The governor-general has always eventually been able to call on one party or a cobbled-together coalition to form a government of sorts.

Atkins clearly is indicating that the next federal poll outcome will be so close that neither major side of politics will be in a position to get support from independents and minor party players to confidently advise the governor-general they can govern. Or if they do, they lose control of the House almost immediately.

And that a set of elections will therefore be needed – presumably with the same deadlock each time – until a government can finally be commissioned.

How this is going to affect young Australians already increasingly disillusioned by the way our so-called democratic political system has been abused of late is anyone’s guess.

Atkins’ prediction makes sense, with online bookies at the moment having the LNP and Labor at much the same odds for victory, but with polls showing both with primary votes well below what they recorded at the 2019 election.

Add in the strong and unprecedented push for independents now under way in key seats and the arrival of The New Liberals who hope to syphon off sizeable votes from both major parties and Atkins’ prediction sounds very, very plausible.

What gives this veteran political observer’s warning even more weight is that Atkins has correctly predicted over recent times that the federal election will definitely be held in 2022, will definitely be held in 2021, will definitely not be until 2022 and now is very likely to still be held in 2021 unless it isn’t.