The choice for voters at the 2019 federal election, called by Scott Morrison for 18 May, will in an important respect be exactly the same as every other election held since 1910. Voters get to choose which of two sides next gets to run the country.
Beyond that basic similarity, Australian federal elections fall into two types: those in which the government is returned, and those in which the government is defeated.
The former is much more common. Governments have been returned at general elections 31 times since federation, compared with just a dozen changes of government (I’ve included the peculiar case of the dismissal in 1975 as a change of government, although it technically was not). When an opposition challenges a government at the polls, it’s battling the weight of history.
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