WHILE few NSW voters will welcome speculation of an early federal election being called next year, it’s getting harder all the time to determine where one campaign ends and the next starts anyway.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly considering bringing forward the next federal election by 12 months or more to avoid a logjam of fixed-term elections across the country’s tiers of government.
Many NSW voters will go to the polls in September for local government elections postponed last year due to court action over the state government’s council amalgamations proposal.
Victorians will go to the polls in November next year while South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland are also due to have elections next year.
Then it will be the turn of NSW voters in March 2019 while a federal half-senate election must be held before May 18, 2019.
If, as is now being speculated, Mr Turnbull decides to go to the polls around September next year, Bathurst voters are about to enter a period of almost non-stop campaigning across the three tiers of government.
But will we even notice the difference?
Over the past week we have seen no shortage of political campaigning, particularly on a state level where voters have almost two years to wait until we next go to the polls.
Coalition MPs have been criss-crossing the state handing out big bags of money to be formally announced when the state budget is handed down next week.
The Central West, where the Nationals famously lost the safe seat of Orange in a disastrous by-election last year, has been a particular target in what has been a fairly blatant bid to either shore up existing votes or win back disgruntled former supporters.
It might be cynical but that’s the reality of politics – and you’re not about to hear us complaining.
For too long our region has suffered through being a safe Nationals area and we’ve had to look on as all the money went to marginal electorates.
The voters of Orange may have done us all a favour by upsetting the apple cart at last year’s by-election and reminding politicians not to take them for granted.
When John Barilaro took over the leadership of the Nationals he vowed to win back voters’ trust and if that’s going to cost a few dollars, then the region will be better for it.