Ruling Coalition trailing in polls as battlegrounds form around the economy, climate change and immigration
'Australians will head to the polls on 18 May, the prime minister Scott Morrison has announced, firing the starting gun on an election campaign that immediately saw both major party leaders vying to offer a uniquely Australian vision – a society and economy that gives everyone a “fair go”.
Setting out his economic credentials, Morrison earlier said the choice for voters was “between enterprise and envy”, and that electing a Labor government, led by rival Bill Shorten, would be “an economic leap in the dark”.
Morrison, who leads the ruling Coalition government, said on Thursday morning: “I believe in a fair go for those who have a go. And what that means is, part of the promise that we all keep as Australians is that we make a contribution and don’t seek to take one.”
Hours later, Shorten said: “What we believe in is making sure that the economy works in the interests of working and middle-class people, when everyday Australians are getting a fair go, this economy hums.”
He added: “We also want to make sure that women get a fair go in our society.”
Climate change and immigration are also key issues but serious divisions within Morrison’s Liberal party – which rules in coalition with the National party – will also be at the front of voters’ minds. The Coalition has held power since 2013 but is polling in second place after years of factional infighting and inaction on climate change.'
Read more: Australian PM calls election, with leaders luring voters with dream of a 'fair go'