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Election! card game

A card game for political tragics.

Election! sees you play as prime minister or leader of the opposition, competing to win an election, boosting your chances and taking your opponent down. It’s not for the faint-hearted – the election campaign can be brutal, so try not to take it personally. It’s only a game, after all.   

Designed and created by Steve Cusworth and illustrated by famed political cartoonist Matt Golding, Election! honours the age-old Australian tradition of making fun of politicians. The game is all about spin and social media and leans into real-life political events in Australia and around the globe, including the 2015 ‘Choppergate’ scandal, the election of Donald Trump as US president and a never-ending array of cringey social media videos. 

Real political quotes, such as Paul Keating’s savage assessment of John Hewson as a ‘shiver looking for a spine to run up’, or Peter Costello’s derisive ‘noodle nation’ description of the Labor Opposition’s education policy are scattered throughout the game.  

Election! is cynical and irreverent and while strategy might get you some of the way, both players are at the mercy of current events. Polls can turn in an instant, and no amount of clever politicking can overcome an unfortunate draw of the cards.  

The first edition of Election! was, appropriately for a game about democracy, crowdfunded with small donations and input from the community. 

How to play 

Take turns to turn over cards representing each day of the election campaign. Players have several cards in their hand with which to influence how the day’s events affect them or their opponent. Each day usually increases one player’s ‘margin’ over the other – after the final day, whoever has the highest margin wins.  

A deck of cards fanned out in a pile. Some cards are red with a blue border and the word Election! written at the top.  There is a cartoon caricature of politicians in the centre of each cartoon. There is one card with a green border with the words 'Play this card when a social media event in your favour is drawn. Margin points plus 4'.