Editor's note

After months of speculation, we finally have a date: Australians will head to the polls on May 18. Now we can strap ourselves in for endless sound bites about who is the better economic manager, who “delivers” on promises and who you can “trust”. Yes, we’ve heard it all before, but we also hope there will be meaningful policy debates on some of the big issues facing the country: climate policy, health, education, infrastructure, wages and the economy to name just a few.

To help you navigate your way through it and untangle the most important policy issues facing the country, we have assembled a team of the country’s best academic researchers and writers, led by Michelle Grattan. We kick off with a piece by Frank Bongiorno, who argues that the only certainty in this election is a cranky and mistrustful electorate.

And where will the election be won and lost? Every week of the campaign, our writers across the country will look at how it’s playing out in the states, and the key seats to watch on May 18.

We’re also continuing to roll out our series examining the Coalition’s record in office, especially over the past three years. Rob Manwaring asks what the Turnbull-Morrison government will really be remembered for.

You can find all of our election pieces on our dedicated election page, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to bringing you the sharpest, most evidence-based analysis of the key issues as Australia decides who should lead the country for the next three years.

Amanda Dunn

Section Editor: Politics + Society

Federal Election 2019

Scott Morrison visited the Governor-General early Thursday morning. AAP/ LUKAS COCH

Morrison visits Governor-General for a May 18 election

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Scott Morrison has called the election for May 18. Labor remains the campaign as favourite, having had a long-term consistent lead in the polls.

Wes Mountain/The Conversation

As election 2019 kicks off, the only certainty is a cranky and mistrustful electorate

Frank Bongiorno, Australian National University

There are generally two kinds of federal election: one when the government is returned; the other when it is defeated. History tells us the former is far more common.

Keep up-to-date election campaign in each state. Shutterstock

Federal election 2019: state of the states

Nick Economou, Monash University; Chris Aulich, University of Canberra; Ian Cook, Murdoch University; Maxine Newlands, James Cook University; Michael Lester, University of Tasmania; Richard Eccleston, University of Tasmania; Rob Manwaring, Flinders University

Keep up-to-date with how the federal election is playing out locally. Our State of the States series takes stock of the key issues, seats and policies affecting the vote in each of Australia's states.

With the Coalition and Labor presenting several policy differences, this can be seen as a very ideological election. AAP/Lukas Coch

The end of uncertainty? How the 2019 federal election might bring stability at last to Australian politics

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

As Australians' trust in politicians continues to slide, whoever wins the 2019 will need to work hard to restore it if it has any hope of bringing about genuine reform.

Forget the low hanging fruit, for the Coalition tax reform might have well been forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. Lukas Coch/AAP/Shutterstock

What will the Coalition be remembered for on tax? Tinkering, blunders and lost opportunities

Robert Breunig, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Kristen Sobeck, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

Six years of Coalition government has had little impact on the tax system. It's not clear whether a Labor government would be any different.

It is unlikely the Turnbull-Morrison Coalition government will be remembered for any significant reforms. Lukas Coch/AAP

What will the Turnbull-Morrison government be remembered for?

Rob Manwaring, Flinders University

In terms of major policy achievements, the Coalition government has little to show for its time in office.


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