Interest rates

Liberal Party braces for interest rate decision amid new polls

The Liberal Party is bracing for the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision on Tuesday as two new opinion polls suggest time is running out for Scott Morrison to secure another miracle election victory.

According to the latest Newspoll, Labor maintained a 53-vote lead to 47 for both parties.

If repeated on election day, it would see Labor rocket into government with a majority and Scott Morrison would lose 10 seats.

All eyes are now on Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe and the RBA board, who will announce this week whether they are preparing to announce the first election rate hike since Kevin Rudd announced claimed victory in 2007.

The Reserve Bank hasn’t raised its official cash rate target in more than a decade, meaning thousands of mortgage holders have no adult experience of what a rate hike looks like.

Last month, the RBA held the cash rate steady at 0.1%, but economists have warned a hike could occur as early as next month.

The last rate hike by the central bank was 25 basis points in November 2010, bringing the target rate to 4.75%.

Since then, the RBA has either held rates steady or cut them – for 12 years.

But rising inflation – the biggest indicator of the cost of living – is about to change.

As the Labor Party launched its campaign in Perth on the theme that ‘Australians deserve better’, it was echoed by campaign spokesman Jason Clare who accused the Prime Minister of letting voters down.

“Rising interest rates are knocking at the door. Life becomes more difficult. Not easier,” he said.

“And what did Scott Morrison say this week?” ‘it is not my fault! It’s not my job. How many times have you heard that? You deserve better than that.

An exclusive Newspoll poll conducted for The Australian found Labor’s primary vote had risen to 38 per cent, after faltering after Mr Albanese’s campaign fell.

Popular support for the Coalition is stable at 36%.

According to political monitor Resolve commissioned by Nine Newspapers, Labor’s primary vote is stable at 34%.

That’s not much higher than the result Bill Shorten achieved when he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2019 election.

However, following the Greens’ 15% poll according to Resolve Research, he believes Labor is on course for victory with a two-party preferred result of 54-46 in favor of the ALP.

It’s the first time the Nine Newspapers Resolve poll has published a two-party favorite result since they suspended voting operations and then moved to primary polls only following controversy over the reliability of the polls in 2019.

The poll suggests that support for the Coalition has fallen from 35% to 33%. Labor is on a 34 percent primary vote.

About one in three voters votes for the Greens, in independent or minor parties such as One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

The exclusive survey, conducted by Resolve Strategic for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, also shows the Greens have increased their primary vote by 11-15% – a figure that has drawn some skepticism among other pollsters.

One Nation by Pauline Hanson and United Australia Party by Clive Palmer went from 4% to 5% each.

– by Samantha Maiden,