The SMH reports:
The Senate has defied Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just one day into a three-week special sitting of Parliament, handing him a double dissolution trigger and setting the stage for an unprecedented 75-day election campaign.
Mr Turnbull’s high-risk plan to hold a double dissolution poll on July 2 comes as two new polls found the Coalition tied or even trailing a resurgent Labor opposition.
It will be a fascinating election.
The winning party may also get a majority in the Senate as they have changed the law so preference deals between parties no longer have the same impact so you are less likely to get someone elected who had 0.5% primary vote.
That means the May 3 federal budget will now form a key element of the government’s re-election pitch and that a pair of untested leaders – neither Mr Turnbull nor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have led their party in a campaign before – will fight for Australians’ votes in what shapes as a marathon political contest.
Mr Shorten is due to deliver his budget reply speech on May 5, and Mr Turnbull must visit the Governor-General no later than May 11 to formally issue the writs and announce the poll.
On Sunday, Mr Turnbull confirmed defeat of the ABCC bill would mean “there will be a dissolution of both houses and an election of the 2nd of July” and speaking after the Senate vote, Liberal Senate leader George Brandis said the restoration of the ABCC was an important part of the government’s economic agenda.
The election needs to be fought on more than the fighting union corruption. That is an important issue, but not the most important issue to every day Australians.