In test of re-election prospects of Australian PM, by-election voting begins

By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Voting in five by-elections across Australia began on Saturday in polls that are widely seen as a barometer of the re-election prospects of the country's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Reuters July 28, 2018 05:05:17 IST
In test of re-election prospects of Australian PM, by-election voting begins

In test of reelection prospects of Australian PM byelection voting begins

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Voting in five by-elections across Australia began on Saturday in polls that are widely seen as a barometer of the re-election prospects of the country's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In what is being called "Super Saturday", voters in five seats will go to the polls after a handful of opposition lawmakers were forced from office after falling foul of the country's constitution that bans politicians from elected office if they are dual citizens.

The five by-elections will bring to a close a citizenship crisis that saw about a dozen lawmakers forced from office, including the then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce - a removal that briefly cost the government its parliamentary majority.

Winning at least one seat will aid the legislative agenda of Turnbull who heads a coalition government made up of Liberal and National party MPs and has policy heavily shaped by a strong conservative backbench.

Some political analysts believe a very strong showing in the by-elections could tempt Turnbull to call an early poll, particularly if the ruling coalition government secures victory in the seat of Longman.

Polls indicate the ruling centre-right government has a strong chance of winning the Labor-held seat of Longman, in the state of Queensland, after Pauline Hanson's nationalist One Nation Party encouraged its supporters to preference Turnbull ahead of the country's opposition Labor Party on their ballot papers.

Longman is one of five marginal seats in Queensland, which is heavily dominated by rural, conservative voters, a demographic that has not taken to Turnbull, a social liberal who made his fortune in banking before entering politics.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.