Graphic shows recent Australian prime ministers over the past 11 years.
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POLITICS

Decade of political turmoil in Australia

By Jordi Bou

May 18, 2019 - After a decade of political turmoil, rule changes within the two main parties in Australia means that whoever wins the general election should be the first prime minister since 2007 to serve a full term.

Infighting in both the major parties has resulted in six changes of prime minister in 12 years, leading to policy stagnation and uncertainty for business.

But both parties have now made it more difficult to oust leaders. After the Labor government tore itself apart during leadership contests between 2010 and 2013, the party now requires a 75 percent majority in a ballot of its lawmakers to topple a sitting leader, or a 60 percent majority while in opposition.

In December, the Liberals ruled that the support of two-thirds of its lawmakers would be needed to change a sitting prime minister. Both changes make the prospect of destabilizing mid-term switches far more remote.

Scott Morrison’s governing Liberal-National Coalition is extolling its economic credentials heading into the federal election, but Labor leader Bill Shorten has a narrow lead over the coalition government, polls show ahead of the general election.

PUBLISHED: 13/05/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Associated Press
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