And they're off.
Let the battle euphemisms and predictable unpredictability begin.
After an interminable lead-in, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has almost let the days run out and finally visited the Governor-General and is now seeking your collective permission for the Coalition's fourth term.
Both the Morrison government and the Labor opposition can and have already easily claimed the coveted underdog status.
The government is well behind in the latest polls and it is standing on a record spun from the results of lurching from one disaster to another: bushfires, COVID-19, the Afghanistan withdrawal, and the latest floods. Mr Morrison himself has lost standing. It is blue on blue as the PM's most cutting attackers have Liberal stripes. It has to hurt. But few dare say with certainty that Mr Morrison and his government is down for the count. The Prime Minister is not to be discounted when his back is against the wall.
"Our government is not perfect. We've never claimed to be. But we are upfront, and you may see some flaws but you can also see what we have achieved for Australia in incredibly difficult times," Mr Morrison pitched on Sunday.
Regardless of preferable polling, the ALP, out of office for nine years, has a mountain of at least seven seats to climb to win majority government with Labor leader Anthony Albanese. It also has more real estate at risk, with 12 seats held with a margin under 3 per cent, whereas the government enters the election with four.
The leaders are not campaigning with expectations of a uniform swing. We are seeing strategic seat-by-seat campaigning in Sydney, the Hunter, northern Tasmania, Brisbane, central QLD and now South Australia in the wake of the recent state result. Perth and regional Victorian seats are also potentially in play.
Labor has been reasonably confident before only to find the ambition evaporate. The Shorten camp appeared in a winning position heading into the 2019 campaign. But Mr Shorten was too much of a risk, the 300-odd policies were too much of a target and the recently installed Prime Minister was not too much for voters.
The ALP is campaigning very differently this time. Mr Morrison is standing on a full term record and there's a "pox on both houses" mood.
Labor is playing safe while it dares to dream. It is promising renewal not revolution. A small target sneered and desperately swiped at by a government begging for a new tax or left of centre boondoggle to attack.
Mr Albanese's main pitch is that "Australians deserve better".
"This government doesn't have an agenda for today, let alone a vision for tomorrow," he said on Sunday.
All that has been left is to swing blindly at Mr Albanese. Somehow his weight-loss has been a negative. And we are told, in a break from bipartisan tradition, he is weak on China when he is virtually the same.
But is Labor truly unified and ready to govern after nine years in opposition? A small but notable portend is that the campaign HQ team is already leaking media strategy memos to the other side.
It appears at least one person is not too fussed if their side wins or not.
And so the date with destiny is May 21. It is to be a six-week campaign. Long enough to feel like an eternity, not least to the voters who are expected to pre-poll and postal vote in record numbers due to a combination of politics fatigue, protest voting, locked in votes and just not wanting to touch a public pencil during a pandemic.
Promises will be made, promises will be broken. Key ones from the last term, such as the establishment of a federal integrity commission, have already been abandoned. It is desperate times to get or stay in The Lodge.
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