Where have all the subbies gone? The Courier Mail, reporting on Robert Macklin’s Kevin Rudd biography, tells us how “He said Mr Rudd had a ‘self-depreciating’ sense of humour.” They might mean “self-deprecating”, but perhaps economics is now so over-riding that we even depreciate ourselves now. It might be something to do with political capital.

Newspoll and the morning after. You’ve got to love The Australian, but you’ve got to worry about how they report their own polls. Today, Sam Maiden tells us how voters are already “locked in” behind Labor – effectively contradicting yesterday’s nonsense about the PM storming back.

Death row. One of the joys of watching Question Time in the House of Representatives chamber itself is that you get to see the reactions of all the MPs – like the row of government marginal members who are seated behind the PM so they get their mugs on TV. Yesterday they all looked decidedly glum.

What’s in a name? A Melbourne talkback caller this morning insisted that deputy Labor leader Julia Gillard is known as “the orange roughie”. It could stick.

Howard and Rudd go under the hammer. Tomorrow night is the Press Gallery Midwinter Ball, and Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd have agreed to be auctioned off to raise fund for burns research – a subject close to the Gallery’s heart after one of their own was injured in the Garuda Airlines tragedy in Yogyakarta. The Prime Minister’s package will appeal to his fellow cricket tragics, allowing two people the exclusive opportunity to join him at the PM’s XI cricket match at Manuka Oval in November, including a reception at the Lodge the night before held with both cricket teams being guests of honour. The Leader of the Opposition will host a dinner party for six with his “surprise” special guests in the Private Dining Room at Parliament House. Both auctions are up on eBay, and Canberra insiders say the cricket do is the better option. It’s a safer bet for corporates than shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to take a table at a fundraiser. The PM’s cricket game is in November, so chances are it will be after the polls. Whoever gets the prize can ensure that they will have a meeting with whoever has the top job.

Behind the polls. Out today – some special Morgan Poll qualitative research conducted on 9/10 June on why electors say they will vote for the various parties. IR still dominates the political agenda:

  • A large number of Liberal Party supporters continue to cite economic management as the main reason for their support;
  • Many respondents say they will vote for the Liberal Party because the Labor Party is controlled by the unions;
  • A significant proportion of ALP supporters said they intend to vote for Labor because John Howard’s leadership;
  • The Government’s controversial industrial relations laws are often given by Labor supporters as a reason for supporting the ALP; and
  • The most prevalent reason Greens supporters gave for their support of the party was their environmental policies.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey