Nick Economou writes in The Conversation (7.3.16) about the challenges facing the Turnbull federal government in this election year, as it attempts to progress its legislative agenda through both a fractious Coalition party room and an ‘uncooperative’ Senate crossbench.
‘When she replaced Kevin Rudd as Labor leader and prime minister, Julia Gillard went to the polls to try to win a mandate for her new government. The Australian electorate, however, dealt Gillard a major blow in the House of Representatives.
‘The surge in Labor’s primary vote that brought the party to government in 2007 had evaporated by 2010. Labor’s majority was whittled away and Gillard had to lead a minority government.
‘The Labor government was then defeated in a landslide in the 2013 election that brought the Tony Abbott-led Coalition to power with a substantial lower house majority (90 seats to 55 Labor seats). Nearly three years later, the Coalition is giving a good impression of trying to repeat history.’