Sam vote hand

Unless the incumbent Liberal government decides to split the next election in to two parts (which would no doubt ruin their chances of re-election), the last possible date for the next Australian federal election is the 18th of May.

There is some precedent for splitting the election into two parts, which would allow the Liberals to avoid a parliamentary election until November, but such a split election hasn’t happened for 50 years.

An election must be held at least 33 days after the date at which a “writ” is issued for the election, which means that the last possible date to call the election is the 15th of April. However, this is the date where the official “writ” is issued to call an election – and the announcement typically happens at a press conference a few days days before this; which means there is a near certainty the election will be announced in the next two weeks. It is also worth noting that the election will have to be held on a Saturday.

Tomorrow the Liberal government will release the 2019/20 budget. It is expected to show an Australian federal government surplus for the first time in a decade and the Liberal Party will be hoping that the budget surplus will give them a boost in the polls – with the last surplus delivered in 2007-08.

If current opinion polling is reflected at the election, it is likely that the next Federal government will be formed by the Labour party – who has a lead of around 3-5 percentage points depending on your poll of choice. However, given that the Liberal government of NSW was able to overturn a similar deficit at the end of March, the Federal Liberal party will be buoyed with the hope that they can do the same.

While a Liberal government is likely to largely maintain the status-quo on economic policy (with income tax cuts one major proposed change), the Labour party is likely to make significant changes, including proposed changes to negative gearing, capital gains tax, and dividend imputation credits.

Regardless, it will be a big month for federal Australian politics, and the outcomes of the month are likely to have a significant effect on the future movements of the Australian stock market. It may pay therefore, to consider the timing of upcoming key political events and how they may affect your trades.