STRAP IN: The Federal Election Has Been Set For May 18

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the election for Saturday May 18, confirming the date Australia will decide who, exactly, gets to run the country.

Speaking to reporters in Canberra, Morrison confirmed the date and immediately began his campaign: he rattled off what he saw as key successes of his government to date, including the recent budget and its projected surplus.

“There is more to do, and a lot has got done,” he said.

“And we are getting on with the job.”

Earlier this morning, Morrison’s took a brief trip to Government House to chat with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and seek formal approval.

The agreement appeared to sealed with a handshake, which is the kind of thing we’re sure you’re gagging to see. Australian civics! What a thing!

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From here on out, the Coalition, Labor, The Greens, and the vast constellation of minor parties and independent challengers will tussle for your vote on a whole slew of issues.

As it stands, polls tip Labor to have a significant edge over the Coalition. The most recent Newspoll figures gave Labor a 53-47 lead on a two-party preferred basis, while an Ipsos poll put the margin at 52-48.

Recent cornerstones of political debate are poised to remain on the campaign agenda.

Climate change and renewable energy, Australia’s asylum seeker detention system, and issues pertaining to housing affordability are likely to be key issues impacting young Australians addressed by the contenders.

In any case, it’s going to be absolutely wild from here on out. Prepare for what will likely be an intensely weird and weirdly intense run-in to the election.