Australia has changed government. The Liberal party of Australia under the leadership of Tony Abbott will form government with a clear majority in the House of Representatives. This is in contrast to the previous minority run administration run by the Australian Labor Party who had supply supported through the Greens and a few independent MPs (Bob Katter, Rob Oakshott Andrew Wilkie and Tony Windsor). But what if any changes will this new government bring to the people of Australia?
The Liberal party have a history of being good economic managers. Under John Howard’s leadership as Prime Minister and Peter Costello as Treasurer the party were able to turn worrying debt into repeated budget surpluses up until the Coalition were defeated in the 2007 elections. This had a positive effect on the Australian stock market as shares in key sectors rose steadily and in some cases such as mining rose significantly on the back of greater foreign investment (although that could be attributed to the growing demand for minerals from China). The common perception based on polls is that the Liberal and National party Coalition are better economic managers than the left of centre Australian Labor Party. Although it might be said that Kevin Rudd’s first term as Prime Minister did weather the storm that was the Global Financial Crisis.
It will be interesting to see in the coming months what will happen under a Tony Abbott leadership. Already there seems to be positive signs that confidence in the economy, especially the local stock market has risen since the election which might be due to consumer confidence, although this is early days of this administration. There has also been reported that stocks are at a five year high according to the Fairfax online site Trading Room.
What would be also very interesting to see is how Abbott will negotiate the colourful makeup of the Senate with no clear majority, it might be a case of having to conduct deals with the Greens, Independents and micro parties such as Palmer United Party, The Australian Motor Enthusiasts Party or the Australian Sports Party for example.