The election's been called, so are leaders prioritising the female vote?

The election’s been called, so are leaders prioritising the female vote?

It’s official. The federal election has been called for May 18 by Prime Minister, Scott Morrison this morning.

And with the news, came an immediate torrent of campaign activity from all major parties; slogans slung, buzzwords flung and numerous big promises made, just ready to be broken.

Cynicism aside, we’re in for an interesting 37 days.

Polls show Labor nudging into a healthy lead on a two party preferred basis. The Ipsos poll, published by Fairfax put the Labor lead at six points (53-47), while Newspoll published by The Australian showed a similar result with the government trailing Labor 48% to 52%.

These early indications should give parties ample impetus to put their best foot forward; and prioritising the importance of the female vote is central to that.

So how are things shaping up:

The Coalition

Scott Morrison’s speech this morning suggested the government’s campaign would revolve around the key theme of “trust”, similar to John Howard’s campaign in 2007.

They’re framing themselves as the party to trust when it comes to economic security, strong borders, tax cuts and small business relief.

The PM failed to get granular on policy detail this morning, but no doubt that will follow in days to come.

This week, Greg Hunt the Health Minister introduced a new $52 million National Women’s Health Strategy 2020–2030 which will seek to fund research and treatment into conditions like endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

That’s likely to be the core policy the coalition leverages to draw in female voters. But is it enough?

The Greens

Greens leader Richard Di Natale, dropped a video first thing this morning promising to fight for effective climate change policy, and urging Australians to make it “the biggest issue of this election”. The Greens are also seeking to undermine the trustworthiness of major parties.

The Greens’ slogan “make this a climate change election” will likely be compelling for many Australian women. A recent survey by the Australian Conservation Foundation and One Million Women, found nearly nine in ten women are ‘extremely concerned’ and in the under-30 bracket one in three are so worried about the threat of global warming that they’re reconsidering having children.

The Australian Labor Party

Opposition leader, Bill Shorten is set to give a press conference shortly in response to the election being called.

Deputy PM, Tanya Plibersek has responded to Scott Morrison’s claim that The Coalition is the government to trust, drawing attention to recent Liberal Party in-fighting, coups and political scandals.

She also underscored Labor’s key policies, including boosting funding to education and health– including a 2.3bn cancer care package to cover up to 6 million free cancer scans, 3 million free appointments with specialists, free MRI scans and affordable medicines within Labor’s first four years in office.

In the party’s first promotional campaign video, Shorten also promised to invest in renewable energy sources (a policy likely to win support of the majority of Australian women).

Now it’s time to settle in for the ride and see how well Australian parties fight to secure your vote.

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