The Australian government and opposition parties will suspend major election campaign activities today and on Sunday in observation of Easter. The election is scheduled for May 21.
While the opposition Labor party holds a significant lead in opinion polls, the recent budget as well as a political faux pas by opposition leader Anthony Albanese, have provided momentum for the governing liberal-national coalition.
National security and foreign policy will be important topics in the election. Both parties have largely similar stances on adversary China, supporting the AUKUS agreement and membership in the Quad. The main differences are found in how both sides wish to engage with the country- Labor strikes a heavier emphasis on diplomacy with China while the government has highlighted the ideological differences of both countries- believing adversarial relations are unavoidable.
Should the Labor party form government, expect attempts to restore the bilateral economic dialogue which was suspended by China in 2021. However, such attempts are unlikely to succeed in the short to medium term as a Labor government is unlikely to make concessions on the issue due to fears of being labeled soft on China, preventing progress unless China is willing to make concessions.
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Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.