Everything You Need To Know About The Next Federal Election, And Why It Won’t Happen In 2021

We'll have to wait a little longer for the democracy sausage.

australia federal election 2022 when photo

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It’s official, the next federal election will not take place in 2021, which means we won’t be stuffing our faces with a democracy sausage before the year is out.

Although we’ve still got a month and a half left of 2021, the chance for Scott Morrison to call an election has come and gone, thanks to Australian election laws. There are two key laws at play when it comes to Australian federal elections: for starters, the election must be held on a Saturday, and it must be officially called at least 33 days in advance.

This means that November 15 — today — is the last possible day that Scott Morrison could call an election that would take place in 2021, on account of the fact that the last Saturday of the year is Christmas Day.

It was already highly unlikely the election would be called on December 18, with this being the latest election day we would’ve had since the Great Depression. Politics commentators have already settled that the election will be in 2022 – so here’s what we know about when it could potentially be.

So When Will The Election Be?

By law, the election must be held before the end of May — which is when the Senate term expires. This leaves just over a dozen potential dates for Morrison to choose from after you exclude the dates that have already been officially ruled out (January 1, January 8, January 15, January 22, January 29, February 5 and April 16).

It is most likely the election will be called some time during March, which leaves the month of February for campaigning. Although, it could fall in February, April or May — depending on how Scott Morrison plays his cards.

What If He Doesn’t Call It By May?

Australians need to vote on the Senate by the end of May, but this technically means Morrison could hold off on calling an election for the Lower House until September, instead, calling a half election.

The only real reason this would happen is if Morrison knew his government had no hope of winning the election — which isn’t completely out of the realm of possibilities, especially considering his actions in recent weeks. This is super unlikely, but if it happens, it means we could end up with not one, but two federal elections next year.

How Is Scott Morrison Polling Right Now?

According to the Guardian Essential poll released last week, Morrison’s approval rating is at its lowest since the Black Summer bushfire season — during which he quite literally ran away to Hawaii with his tail between his legs like a coward.

The survey — which was conducted during his time at COP26 in Glasgow — showed just 48 percent of people approved of his leadership, while 42 percent disapproved. This is a sharp decline from the 65 percent high he reached back in February, with the biggest decrease coming from Queensland — where approval dropped from 60 to 46 percent.

However, it’s also worth noting that opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s approval rating sits at just 40 percent, so we’re in one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t kinda situations right now.

When it comes to preferred Prime Minister, Morrison still has a strong lead over Albanese, but the decline in support could be a reason why he has held off on calling an election before the year ends.