Those punters are an unsentimental lot. Not a trace of a honeymoon for the Labor dream team. John Howard is now a shorter priced favourite to win the next election than he was a couple of months back when Kim Beazley was to be his opponent!

I did a survey this morning of the three main internet bookies – Centrebet, Sportingbet and IAS. According to them the Coalition is a 59% chance to win the next election to Labor’s 41% chance. There was a very marginal improvement for Labor as a result of this morning’s Newspoll which puts Kevin Rudd’s team well in front but back in August the chances were rated 57% Coalition to 43% Labor.

Newspoll back in August had Labor’s primary vote averaging 40% and just over 50% on a two party preferred basis. This morning’s version put the primary vote at 46% and the two party figure at 55%.

That is the highest primary vote recorded by Newspoll since March 2004 and two party support of 55% is the highest in the period since October 2001 when my records stop.

Why then the lack of reaction from the people who put their money where their mouth is? I can but put it down to a belief that inexperience will count against Kevin Rudd in the end.

That may prove to be so but the lack of form might also be disguising a new Labor champion.

Whatever view you take of the future, Newspoll does suggest that we have a real race for the next election.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW