As many of you will likely be aware by now, a Federal Election is happening. We now know the big day is set for Saturday, May 21 (though early voting has opened). That means there isn’t much time before we have the opportunity to vote for our preferred representatives and, by extension, Prime Minister. With that considered, here’s an introduction to the prime minister candidates for 2022, their parties, promises and key policies.
There are a number of registered political parties in Australia, all of which are listed on the AEC if you’re interested in learning about the full spectrum. In a Federal Election, Australians will be asked to vote for Members of Parliament in the Senate and House of Representatives (which is why you get two ballot papers on voting day).
If you’re interested in learning about the values of assorted candidates across all parties in Australia, a useful resource is the TheyVoteForYou website, on which you can find information about the voting history of the representatives you’re considering putting your support behind.
For simplicity’s sake, today we’re going to zoom in on the three largest and most established political parties in the Australian federal election and their leaders: the Coalition (Liberal and National parties), the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Australian Greens.
While the party leaders are elected by their own parties, by voting for the local candidate representing that party you are essentially voting for who will be the next Prime Minister.
Federal Election candidates
At this point, many of you will already be familiar with the key candidates for Prime Minister in the 2022 Australian Federal Election, but let’s take another quick look at the party leaders you’ll be seeing a lot of this year, shall we?
The Liberal Party and Coalition
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (you may have heard of him before?) is the current leader of the Liberal Party, which also makes him the leader of the Coalition — a partnership with the National Party of Australia.
Morrison was sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia on August 24, 2018, and prior to that was Federal Treasurer.
A quick look at They Vote For You highlights that Scott Morrison has voted consistently for a citizenship test, banning mobiles and other devices in immigration detention, Civil celebrants having the right to refuse to marry same-sex couples, decreasing availability of welfare payments, getting rid of Sunday and public holiday penalty rates and increasing funding for road infrastructure.
Anthony Albanese is the current leader of the Australian Labor Party.
Albanese has been the Federal Member for Grayndler since 1996. Under the Rudd-Gillard Governments, Albanese served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Leader of the House.
A quick look at They Vote For You shows Anthony Albanese has voted consistently for a fast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, decreasing the private health insurance rebate, doctor-initiated medical transfers for asylum seekers, extending government benefits to same-sex couples, increasing availability of abortion drugs and increasing marine conservation.
Heading up the Australian Greens Party is Adam Bandt.
Bandt is the Member for Melbourne and will be the Greens lead in the 2022 federal election. Prior to stepping into the role of leader of the Greens Party, Bandt served as co-deputy leader of the party from 2012 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2020.
A quick look at They Vote For You shows that Adam Bandt has voted consistently for a carbon price, a fast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, ending immigration detention on Nauru, increasing access to the JobKeeper Payment, increasing investment in renewable energy, increasing legal protections for LGBTI people, and increasing the age pension.
It’s also worth noting that there is a range of Independent candidates running in seats across the country, too. We can’t go into each and every one of them here (the list is long), but you can see who’s running in your electorate on the AEC website.
A resource that is particularly useful in this space is the ABC’s guide to election candidates for 2022. Here you can review the full list of candidates by name, or broken down by electorate, and you can also check out key seats if you like.
Federal Election promises from candidates for PM so far
Now that the 2022 Federal Election has been called for May 21, we’re seeing official election promises made by our main parties and their candidates. Here’s a rundown of what each party wants to achieve for Australians.
In terms of election promises and plans, The Coalition is focusing on a “strong economy and a strong future” it writes on its official website. It highlights a focus on low unemployment, tax relief for small businesses and stronger defence.
You can read a breakdown of all the official 2022 election policies from the party below.
- Our Plan for More Australian Jobs
- Our Plan for Forestry
- Our Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System
- Our Plan for Housing and Home Ownership
- Our Plan for Resources
- Our Plan for Western Australia
- Our Plan for Keeping Australians Safe on our Roads
- Our Plan for Lower Taxes
- Our Plan for Addressing Youth Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour in Alice Springs
When it comes to Labor leader Albanese’s stance specifically, he promises changes in areas like cheaper child care, growing the economy, making homeownership accessible and tackling low wages and job insecurity (via his official website).
The Labor Party’s official plan for the 2022 Federal Election includes the following promises:
- Strengthen Medicare by making it easier to see the doctor.
- Create secure local jobs by investing in Fee-Free TAFE and more university places, and make your job more secure with better pay and conditions.
- Make child care cheaper so that it’s easier for working families to get ahead.
- Make more things here in Australia by working with business to invest in manufacturing and renewables to create more Australian jobs.
- Labor will deliver a future where no one is held back and no one is left behind.
According to the Greens Australia website, the key areas the party and Bandt are focusing on right now include well-paid jobs, improved healthcare and education, affordable housing and climate action.
The Greens and its lead candidate for the 2022 federal election, Bandt, promise:
Key policy announcements ahead of the Federal Election
On his intention for Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison states that for the Coalition, “our National Plan is a safe plan, to bring our country back from COVID, and give Australians certainty.”
The party and its lead candidate, Morrison, have been highlighting their policies in areas like creating more Australian jobs (it promises 1.3 million jobs will be created over the next five years), an investment in improving roads ($33 billion over the next four years) and a focus on growing the forestry industry (it promises “not to support any shutdowns of native forestry, and work to create permanent timber production areas”).
Check out the full policy plan here.
Labor and its leader, Albanese, have listed out already announced policies on the Labor Party website. These range from intentions to boost fibre and fast-track NBN repair, to training 10,000 young people in new energy apprenticeships, creating a $10 billion off-budget Housing Australia Future Fund to build social and affordable housing, and more.
The Labor Party is also promising a plan for Fee-Free TAFE to “target the skills gap in critical workforces”, to make getting urgent medical care easier with “at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics” and to reduce the cost of child care with plans like lifting “the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families for the first child in care”.
Check out the full policy plan here.
Per the Greens Party website, the plan is to “tax the billionaires & big corporations, and provide the things we all need for a better life”.
As touched on earlier, the Greens party promises policies that tackle the climate change crisis: “The Greens plan to phase out coal, oil and gas and create jobs”. Healthcare is another key focus area with plans to reinvest money put into private health insurance rebates back into the public system to “fix our health services and make dental and mental health care free for all who need it, not just those who can afford it”. Better pay and secure work is another focus area with policy promises. For example, The Greens plan to establish “a minimum living wage at 60% of the median wage”.
Check out the full policy plan here.
Now that the 2022 Australian Federal Election is set for May 21, we will be sure to continue updating you on any additional pieces of information from what happens if you get COVID on voting day, to when we should see a result.
This article on the Australian Federal Election candidates and promises has been updated since its original publish date.