Australia's relationship with Indonesia will enter a new era and cover a range of bilateral issues with Joko "Jokowi" Widodo looking set to win a second term as president with shared concerns over Chinese maritime expansion topping the political agenda.
One retired Indonesian general, who declined to be named, told AAP that his country's foreign relations were being pushed and pulled between China, India and Australia's chief ally the United States.
"It can be very difficult ... It seems to be Indo-Pac or China, one or the other," he said, referring to the Indo-Pacific strategy, an emerging alliance between Australia, India, the US and Japan, which some have interpreted as a means to contain China.
Like elsewhere in the region, China has attempted to invest heavily in Indonesia - welcomed by some.
But Beijing has fallen foul of Jakarta in recent years after it claimed Natuna Island - long recognised as Indonesian sovereign territory - as part of its nine dash line delineating its expanding claims in the South China Sea, which are not recognised under international law.
Kevin Evans, from the Australia-Indonesia Centre in Jakarta, said additional Chinese claims in the Indian and Pacific oceans had also upset Australia, and changing regional dynamics meant Jakarta and Canberra were now more closely aligned.
"There is a need to be more open," he said as the elections were getting underway. "There is an interesting sense that that dialogue is about to open ... requiring a less than neutral stance."
Also key is the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, signed by Jokowi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August and a free trade deal, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement IA-CEPA, signed in March.
The IA-CEPA still needs to be ratified by parliaments in both countries with Australians going to the polls on May 18.
That means fresh governments will be responsible for implementing both treaties with potential political hurdles along the way. The prospect that Australia might shift its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has already strained ties, particularly among Muslim hardliners in Indonesia.
"That's a legislative issue for Indonesia so you'll have to see how that plays out in parliament and presidents often do not have full control over that," Marcus Mietzner, a senior fellow with Australian National University, said.
"So you will have to bring that negotiation through a very fragmented parliament," he said, adding that could include nine or 10 political parties making-up a "very unruly legislative assembly".
"If, for instance, withholding approval of the trade agreement with Australia is seen as politically advantageous they will do it, regardless of what Jokowi tells them to do," he added.
Evans said this could also be complicated by the nature of Indonesian parliaments, which is similar to the United States. The new Indonesian government will not be sworn in until October 1, and the previous parliament still has another three months to run.
"It will reconvene as a kind of lame duck ... a combination of new and old factions and there's the relative weighting of them. No one really knows how that's going to play.
"But there is hope the free trade deal can be concluded before its term ends," he told AAP. "If it can be done nice and early then that would be better."
Other issues include the clean-up of the 2009 Montara old spill, which reared in the lead-up to the poll, with officials in Jakarta making a point of saying that Australia was responsible for the ecosystem damage the spill caused in Indonesian waters.
Indonesia also said it was preparing to send a negotiating team to Australia once the poll was done, however, Greg Barton, an Indonesian specialist with Deakin University, said this was an issue that had failed to gain traction and that he expected common sense to prevail.
"This a difficult needle to thread," he said, given the bigger regional issues at play.
Australia's relations with Indonesia were also strained by the executions of drug dealers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran four years ago. The death penalty is expected to remain on the legal books but there could be a reprieve on its use.
Mietzner said Jokowi has also had second thoughts on the execution of foreigners.
"He does realise that it does have an impact on foreign relations," he said.
"He did that in 2015, 2016 because he wanted to create that image of being a tough leader... so the executions did fulfil a political image building that will no longer be necessary."
Australian Associated Press