3 March 2024
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My Australian predictions for 2024

Malcolm Mackerras
12 December 2023

In my Switzer Daily article posted on 4 November “Come October 2024 Sir Keir Starmer will be the British Prime Minister   https://switzer.com.au/the-experts/malcolm-mackerras/come-october-2024-sir-keir-starmer-will-be-the-british-prime-minister/  

I promised that I would make my equivalent predictions for Australia and the USA before the year 2023 is closed. So, here goes for Australia, beginning with federal elections.

In the summer of 2024, there will be a by-election for the federal Victorian electoral division of Dunkley created by the tragic death of Peta Murphy occurring on Monday 4 December. The Liberal Party will need a swing of 6.3% to take Dunkley. My prediction is that Labor will retain the seat, but I’ll elaborate in a special article written on the eve of polling day itself. Apart from Dunkley, there will be no federal elections of any kind next year. Also, next year there will be no state general elections in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania or Western Australia. The scheduled simultaneous elections for House of Representatives and half-Senate will occur in May 2025.

I am aware that several political pundits are predicting federal elections will occur next year in August, September, October, November or December. For various technical reasons, however, I rule out totally August, September or October. I cannot completely rule out November or December next year so I give history and explain why I don’t believe history will prevail in this case.

There have been 47 federal general elections, being five in March, two in April, six in May, two in July, two in August, five in September, six in October, seven in November and 12 in December. There has never been a federal general election in January, February or June.

In his opinion piece, in The Australian on Tuesday 5 December, Troy Bramston, in effect, predicted that there would be a November-December 2024 federal general election. He indicated his de facto prediction by this remark: “The thinking is if the government sees out the following year, by early 2025 the pre-election speculation will be at fever pitch. It will look like the government is dragging its heels.”

I disagree with that emphatically. Albanese can kill such speculation by announcing firmly that the election will be in May 2025. If anyone speculates otherwise, he can down face such speculation. That is what I advise him to do and that is what I believe he will do. In doing so he could make it clear that he stands upon the moral high ground of asserting that the parliament should be allowed to run its full term of three years – and it will so run.

There is another point Albanese could make that I believe he will make, either publicly or in private. He could say that there have been 12 elections in December of which the most recent was held on Saturday 1 December 1984. It was called by Bob Hawke who used all the arguments now being used by those urging such an early election on Albanese. The result of the election was that Hawke won, but with a win much poorer than Hawke had planned. So, Albanese would be well advised not to go to an early election in November or December next year.

There will be elections next year in the Northern Territory on 24 August and in the ACT on 19 October. Labor will hold office in both, but the performance of the Liberals will be seen to be very creditable. Then on 26 October will come the big election, the state election in Queensland which I’ll cover in detail (including publishing a Mackerras pendulum) as polling day gets closer. The Labor government of Steven Miles (or whoever is chosen to succeed Annastacia Palaszczuk as Labor leader) will be defeated. The new premier will be LNP leader David Crisafulli, the member for Broadwater. Queensland, therefore, will be the only jurisdiction to change its head of government next year. On New Year’s Day 2025 Anthony Albanese will still be prime minister and the premiers will still be Chris Minns in New South Wales, Jacinta Allan in Victoria, Jeremy Rockliff in Tasmania, Peter Malinausksas in South Australia, and Roger Cook in Western Australia.

That the Queensland Labor government is generally expected to be defeated in October next year will weigh on Albanese’s mind when he dismisses the proposal to have a federal election in December 2024. Why would he choose a federal election date to lie in the immediate aftermath of Labor’s defeat in Queensland? It makes no sense. By May 2025, the LNP Queensland government might be unpopular enough as to help Labor federally in Queensland.

Moving into 2025, the first election will be the state election in Western Australia for which the fixed date is Saturday 8 March. Labor will lose quite a bundle of seats – inevitable after such a massive landslide victory achieved by Mark McGowan last time, on 13 March 2021. However, Roger Cook will achieve a very respectable win for Labor – and provide an excellent backdrop for Albanese when he goes to the polls in May 2025.

I have promised readers that I’ll give my American predictions for 2024. I’ll do that in my first Switzer Daily article for 2024. In the meantime, readers can get a flavour of what I am likely to predict by looking at these articles published under my name:


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