There will be some noteworthy elections coming up in 2013.
Unlike most parliaments in the UK and Canada, which normally last 4 to 5 years, the Australian House of Representatives sits for a three-year term.The next election will be held on 14 September 2013. The 2010 election resulted in a hung parliament, with both Labor the the Coalition tied with 72 seats each. Labor ended up forming a minority government, with the support of Green and Independent MPs.
Recent polls (12 December 2012) have Labor trailing the Liberal-National Coalition in terms of overall popular support, 36% to 54%, and in terms of first preference votes among committed voters, the Coalition leads there as well, 46% to 32% for Labor. However, when asked who would make the better PM, Liberal Party leader Toby Abbott trails incumbent PM Julia Gillard 34% to 43%.
For all things pertaining to elections in Australia, both at the federal and state level, I strongly recommend following Antony Green’s blog. For a general overview, you might find this article interesting.
There won’t be another federal election until October 2015, but there are a few provinces which may be heading to the polls this year (one definitely will be).
British Columbia will be electing a new parliament in May of this year. The incumbent Liberals are not doing well at the polls, and Premier Christy Clarke’s decision not to hold a fall sitting probably won’t help matters.
Ontario and Quebec
Ontario’s last election was in October 2011 while Quebec’s was in September 2012 but both resulted in hung parliaments. Ontario ended up with a minority Liberal government, but Premier Dalton McGuinty unexpectedly prorogued the Legislature in October and simultaneously announced his resignation as party leader. The Liberals chose a new leader on 26 January 2013. The House will return on 19 February 2013. While the new leader has stated she is determined to make the minority parliament work, one can never rule out an election.
Quebec ended up with a minority Parti québécois government. The government’s budget passed by one vote in late November. Polls show a close three-way race between the PQ, Liberals and Coaliation Avenir Quebec. Minority parliaments rarely last much more than a year, so the situation in Quebec bears watching.
Nova Scotia’s last election was in 2009. It is one of the few provinces which does not have fixed election dates, but since the government is coming into its fourth year in office, an election is likely in 2013. An election must occur by June 2014.
The last election in Nunavut occurred in October 2008, and so the current parliament is entering its 5th year. Nunavut does not have fixed election dates, so an election will be held some time this year, no later than October 2013.
UK local elections
The 2013 United Kingdom local elections are due to take place on Thursday 2 May 2013. Elections will be held in 35 English councils, including all 27 non-metropolitan county councils, the 5 unitary authorities covering ceremonial counties, and 3 other unitary authorities, and to a single Welsh unitary authority. What will be interesting to watch for is how the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) performs. The party has surged in recent polls, often polling ahead of the Liberal Democrats, and recently finished 2nd in two by-elections for parliamentary seats. In the 2011 local elections, UKIP took control of Ramsey town council, and maintained its seven councillors across England, and one in Northern Ireland.