Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated in a post-budget rev up to his Coalition troops that he won’t send voters to an early election.
There has been recent speculation that Australians could head to the polls in the second half of 2021, but Mr Morrison implied on Tuesday he was unlikely to pull the trigger until 2022.
“I’m a full-termer. Elections are too hard to win,” he told the joint Coalition party room in Canberra on Tuesday.
“I cherish every day. We’ll do it for the time we said we would.”
Mr Morrison said he was asked about election timing in March, when the coronavirus pandemic was sweeping the globe.
“It was the furthest thing from my mind then and it still is,” he said.
The earliest date for a simultaneous House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 7, 2021. But Mr Morrison has until May 21, 2022 to call a federal poll.
With the Coalition maintaining a slight lead in most opinion polls, he urged MPs and senators to maintain discipline, unity and focus.
“In political cycles, there’s good times and bad times,” Mr Morrison said.
“When things are going well that’s when there’s a risk of complacency and disunity, of the work rate dropping off.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the opposition was in “third gear” as he addressed this caucus room.
“Scott Morrison is addicted to announcements and retail politics but he’s allergic to the hard work of national leadership and actual delivery,” he said.
He said leaked government talking points showed the Coalition’s focus was on Labor even in budget week.