Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Polls and Punts

Tonight's Lateline, returning from the holidays, has reported that a poll in tomorrow's issue of The Australian, will confirm that the Federal Labor Party has made a dramatic jump on a two party preferred basis, to 56% compared to the government's 44%, with Kevin Rudd now trailing Howard as preferred Prime Minister by only one point.

I'm no poll watcher, and I had initially decided not to make mention of it - just as I passed over this weekend's poll that had the NSW Government in a comfortable winning position just less than two months out of the State Election. Even though the fact that more people agreed it was time for a change than planned to vote for the government is significant, its significance is obvious enough not to have to explain it to my readers (other than to add that the conditions currently existing in the government are so eerily like those that preceded the fall of the Unsworth Government that I'm no longer trusting myself to rely on the government's large margin).

That was until I saw John Howard interviewed on the aforementioned Lateline by Tony Jones.

Wow. He looks genuinely rattled. No relaxed and comfortable here. Political junkies closely monitor Howard's body language. He gets flushed. He gets tetchy. The vocal chords constrict. And then there is The Shoulder. Howard has an odd habit of making a little shrug when he's really feeling up against the wall. I didn't notice a shrug tonight, but all the other symptoms were there - none more when, in a masterstroke of the sort of uncomfortable journalism that is Jones' stock in trade (just ask Tony Abbott), Jones decided to exclusively reveal The Australian poll results to Howard live during the interview. The tension was almost cruel.

I look forward to seeing whether The Australian poll also contains estimates of the ALP's primary support. This is the real meat and veg, with the party saying for some time that it needs to break through the crucial 44% level to have any chance of competition with the government.

T'will be an interesting year, methinks.


At 4:03 pm, Anonymous Jacinta said...

great post.

At 9:12 am, Blogger Minotaur said...

Believe me, just telling it like it is!

He had another shocker yesterday, having to withdraw his comments on climate change after saying he initially misunderstood the question. A bit of a lose-lose situation - if he did misunderstand, not good; if he didn't, not good either.

I'll never underestimate the ability of this bloke to bounce back like a rubber ball, but I'll be equally intrigued to observe whether, if he lost it, he would lose it completely.

At 9:44 am, Anonymous greg said...

Lost it??.....he never had it. Just goes to show how Australian the majority of Australians really are in "giving him a fair go " over the last decade ..... BUT ... "enough is enough"

At 11:52 am, Anonymous milltown pete said...

One little gem in this post was the reference to the Unsworth government.
The only addition I would make is that it more closely resembles the plight of the Kennett government in Victoria.
That election was at the point of being unreportable because it was such a forgone conclusion, and in fact Kennett himself became the subject of some derision when he started suggesting he could get beaten.
The current Federal government may have already become aware of the effect that Kennett had shrewdly spotted that made him vulnerable to the swinging/protest voter, that is the number of voters who opined:
"I won't vote for them, but I think everyone else will"
When that takes hold, the protest vote becomes a real threat.

At 9:10 am, Blogger Minotaur said...

This must be the rationale behind the anti-Peter Debnam theme of the campaign: `Yes, you might want a change, but this bloke's such a twit that you just can't risk it.' I don't think it ever occurred to the Kennett Liberals to run this sort of campaign because they were so confident (even though Kennett himself always maintained that he knew he would lose. Perhaps that's just Kennett being Kennett).

I think all State governments have learned from that example. Even Peter Beattie was stifling his giggles and describing himself as `the underdog' in the Queensland election.

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