Australia’s surprise election result: Population votes for the status quo fiscal policy

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  • The Australian elections have been the focus in markets at the start of the Asia week.
  • AUD/USD travelled from 0.6867 to a high of 0.6914.
  • Fiscal policy will be almost unchanged from the most recent Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The Australian elections have been the focus in markets at the start of the Asia week, brushing aside the RBA and trade wars momentarily and giving the Aussie some solace, at least for now, which has seen a 50 pip spike at the open. AUD/USD travelled from 0.6867 to a high of 0.6914 as the weekend news that Australia’s centre-right government has clung to power in a surprise victory – Exit polls had suggested a narrow Labor win for the first time in six years.

However, the opposition’s progressive agenda was rejected by the population which are apparently braced for a slowing economy of which the centre-right government might otherwise be blamed for. You could say that Labor leader Bill Shorten’s loss has been put in the same camp as to that of to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 failure to win the U.S. presidency. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thanked voters for re-electing his conservative coalition, telling his supporters that “always believed in miracles”.

The result nobody predicted

“Try finding someone who says they saw this result coming.

For well over two years, the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor’s turn to govern.

But somehow Scott Morrison managed to turn things around at the 11th hour – and he did it largely on his own.

With some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public on the campaign trail, ScoMo made this election about him, and his ability to be the trustworthy, daggy-dad Australia needed.

In the end, it was very, very close, but the voters decided, on balance, he deserved the fair go he craved.”

 (By Hywel Griffith, BBC Sydney correspondent)

Leaders paid respect to one another:

  • When thanking his opponent, Mr Morrison paid tribute to “the quiet Australians” who had voted for the Coalition.
  • Labor’s Party leader Bill Shorten has announced he is resigning after accepting defeat.

Analysts thoughts:

Analysts at ANZ Bank note that it is not yet clear if there will be a minority government as the Coalition, so far, has 74 seats which is short of the 76 required for a majority:

“There is also one Green and five independents currently, including Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie, Rebekha Sharkie, Zali Steggall and Helen Haines. If there is a minority Government, the Coalition will have to negotiate with these cross benchers on contentious legislation. The Senate count, whilst not final, looks like 34 Coalition senators, 27 Labor, nine Greens, two One Nation, two Centre Alliance, Jacqui Lambie and Cory Bernadi. The Government would need five additional votes to secure the 39 votes to pass contentious legislation, including its tax cuts. Most of the non-majors, other than the Greens, lean towards Coalition positions. Fiscal policy will be almost unchanged from the most recent Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook given the Coalition’s election commitments had a net (positive) AUD102m impact on the underlying cash balance.”

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