In bad news about Democratic sausage sales, more than 12 percent of voters cast their ballots — days before the government launched its official campaign.
Figures from the Australian Electoral Commission show record numbers have already voted at early polling stations, with millions more asking to vote by mail.
When Prime Minister Scott Morrison set a date for the May 21 election, strategists believed the six-week campaign was necessary to improve the coalition’s polling numbers, and put pressure on opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who they believed would crack under continued pressure from the campaign trail.
And while Mr. Albanese made several serious gaffes in the first week of the campaign, Labor’s campaign has continued since, while the coalition has failed to improve significantly in the polls.
Alliance strategists privately concede that time is running out and they are now an outside opportunity to secure a majority victory, given that record numbers of voters have already made up their minds and cast their ballots.
Traditionally, votes and mail came from earlier demographics such as nomads who generally supported liberal and nationalist parties.
However, the massive early voting numbers this time around suggest that a much broader section of society decided to vote early, meaning it is unlikely to significantly boost either major party.
There are 1,7,228,900 registered voters in Australia, equivalent to about 98 per cent of the eligible adult population.
The Australian Electoral Commission said that as of yesterday morning, 1,237,694 people have cast their ballots at early polling stations.
This equates to about 7.4 percent of the electorate and is more than double the number who voted early for the same period in the 2019 election campaign.
Another 88,018 have already cast their postal votes, equal to about 5.11 percent of the electorate, which means more than 12 percent have already voiced their opinions and will not be affected by anything that happens next week, including the launch of the coalition’s campaign. Sunday.
A record 2,473,536 people have asked to vote by mail so far this year.
This represents a record 14.35 percent of the electorate seeking to vote by mail rather than in person on May 21.
This compares to a total of 1.2 million people who voted by mail in the 2019 election.
If an election is close, the record number of postal votes may delay the announcement of the winner.
Unlike votes cast on the day, postal votes are not counted immediately after polls close at 6 p.m. Saturday night.
Instead, small counting will begin on Sunday afternoon, and postal vote counting will begin in earnest on Monday, May 23.