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Here's Proof No One Is Talking About The Reason For The Entire Election

Why are we having this double dissolution again?

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The Australian Building and Construction Commission, aka the reason we are holding this early double dissolution election, has pretty much disappeared from the election campaign.


Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution election in May after failing to pass a bill to re-introduce the construction industry watchdog.

"When we go to election, the Australian people will decide whether there should be an Australian Building and Construction Commission," he said at the time.

"A double dissolution election is about giving the people their say."

A Factiva search of "ABCC" or "Building and Construction Commission" of news stories in the last three months found mentions of the bill peaked in the week starting 21 March.

In the lead up to the Turnbull government's ABCC bill being voted down by the senate on 17 April, there was a huge amount of coverage mentioning the ABCC.


The Australian newspaper has made the most mentions of the ABCC at 424, followed by the ABC on 294 and AAP on 237.

But when the election campaign started in early May, mentions of the ABCC dropped off immediately. On the Liberal party website there were no mentions in the first two weeks of the election campaign.

Ironically, if the Turnbull government is re-elected on July 2, it might not have the numbers it needs to pass the ABCC legislation.

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

The Coalition's strategy in calling an early double dissolution election was to clear out the Senate crossbench (often referred to as "hostile" and "feral") who wouldn't pass elements of the government’s policy agenda.

But recent polling by the Australia Institute shows the Coalition might be left without the majority it needs to pass its ABCC bill.

The poll estimates the senate will have 30-35 Coalition senators, 25-18 Labor, 9-10 Greens, 3-6 Nick Xenophon Team members, plus other independents including Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson.

The poll of 1,437 voters done by Research Now puts the Coalition on a primary vote of 36%, Labor 33%, Greens 12%, Nationals 2%, Palmer United Party 0%, Jacqui Lambie Network 1%, Glenn Lazarus Team 0%, Nick Xenophon Team 4%, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation 5%, and independent/other 8%.

The Australia Institute’s director, Ben Oquist said that while senate polling is sometimes unreliable, the research suggests the Coalition will struggle to hold some of its seats.

“This could mean a senate where a returned Coalition government couldn’t pass legislation without either Hanson’s vote or the Greens – when Labor oppose bills,” Oquist said.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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