Federal election for “older people”, youth “left out” despite job promises: commentator

A political commentator has claimed the federal election will not be one for young voters, despite Liberal and Labor Party pledges catering to Australia’s youth.

Murdoch University Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy Ian Cook said both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had not done enough for young voters, while stating that Australian youth were not a “central” group to campaigns.

“We’ve seen distinctively that young voters have been left out,” Dr Cook said.

“Their interests economically in terms of jobs, education, neither party has been particularly strong on those sorts of issues that younger voters have particularly motivated around.”

“We’re seeing politics for older people, politics for established generations who’ve got their houses, who’ve got their mortgages.”

“There’s still issues of young people breaking into the housing market is just almost impossible for them.

He said young people were not the main demographic.

“They’re not central to campaigning,” he said.

“They’re (Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten) both fighting over the middle ground.”

However, Dr Cook said issues affecting voting youth were recognised.

“This election is good in terms of it sort of shifting us to some issues that do affect some of the younger voters,” he said.

“I’m seeing a little bit more recognition of their needs, recognition of their interests, recognition of the sorts of policies that attract them and motivate them around voting.”

Dr Cook’s comments came following the PM’s announcement on Thursday that the election would be held on 18 May, resulting in five weeks of campaigning.

Mr Morrison told reporters that there would be stronger economic growth if he is re-elected.

“We will create another one and a quarter million jobs over the next five years. We will maintain those budget surpluses without increasing taxes and pay down the debt. We will deliver tax relief.”

He has since promised a quarter of a million new jobs just for young people aged 15 to 24 years old under a returned Coalition government.

Meanwhile, Mr Shorten has pledged affair go for middle and working class Australians.

“We will deliver more jobs, better health and education. Take real action on climate change and renewable energy and help push energy prices down,” he said.

The government currently holds 74 seats in the lower house while Labor holds 69, but redrawing the electoral boundaries will give the Coalition a one seat margin at 73 seats to Labor’s 72.

Dr Cook said it will not be a close race to the lodge.

“The Labor party is very well placed for this election,” he said.

“We’ve got to see the Labor Party as clear favourites here.”

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