SYDNEY: Australians will vote in a general election on Saturday and opinion polls point to a change of government, with the centre-left Labor Party leading the incumbent centre-right Liberal-National coalition.
There are marked differences in their agendas, such as Labor's taxation treatment of franking credits and tax breaks on investment housing, which will have an impact on specific sectors and stocks.
The coalition government is campaigning on its current policies remaining largely unchanged.
* Labor has promised to lift minimum wages, and has already committed to funding pay rises for childcare workers.
* Higher wage bills would increase costs for firms that employ large numbers of workers, such as supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths, pizza-maker Dominos , electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi, conglomerate Wesfarmers, engineering services firm Downer EDI , Qantas and building-sector companies Adelaide Brighton , Boral and Cimic.
DIVIDEND TAX REFORM
* Labor promises to wind back some tax refunds on corporate dividends.
* That makes big banks, Telstra and big mining stocks slightly less attractive for some yield investors, analysts said.
* It increases the attractiveness, relative to other shares, of real estate investment trusts, which had been slightly discounted because they never attracted the rebates.
* Conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd, iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group and Westpac Banking Corp , among others, have paid extra dividends this year so that shareholders do not miss out on the tax rebates.
* Labor is promising to upgrade public hospitals and extend dental and cancer care subsidies.
* That could weigh on private hospital operators, such as Ramsay Health Care Ltd, which could see fewer patients as a result, Citi analysts said.
* Rising subsidies are seen benefiting recipients such as medical centre operator Healius Ltd, pathology firm Sonic Healthcare Ltd and diagnostic scanning provider Integral Diagnostics.
* Labor plans to set a renewable energy target for 2030 at roughly double the government's target for 2020 and plans to cap more polluters than the existing government.
* Could be positive for contractors, while access to subsidised solar and batteries promised by Labor would also be positive, for AGL Energy and Origin Energy, according to Deutsche Bank.
* It is seen dragging on larger polluters and power users such as Qantas Airways, Aurizon, Wesfarmers, Woolworths, and Telstra.
* Labor has promised to review Australia's troubled state-owned broadband network.
* Analysts expect that will lead to wholesale price reductions, a relief for the squeezed margins of retailers such as Telstra, TPG Telecom, Vocus Group and Optus.