The next question is, of course, who ratted on the rodent? Who leaked the Crosby Textor research?

The pollsters themselves perhaps … convinced of the increasing likelihood of their star client’s impending demise and eager to place the brand prominently in the public eye? Crosby and Textor may sense that a time could come when the sobriquet ”Liberal party pollster” may carry more scorn than cachet.

Or was it some senior member of the Coalition still clinging to the possibility of a change in Government leadership? Dream on. As Christian Kerr says in today’s edition, if Liberal pretender Peter Costello had the strength of character required to lead his country, he would already have made his bid. He hasn’t, and he doesn’t. No balls, no bid.

The PM today slates the damning Textor polling as ”just part of the election year static”. Just like Shane Stone’s ”mean and tricky” memo of the 2001 election year? ”Mean and tricky” in 2001, ”dishonest and too old” in 2007. At least Howard’s staying resolutely on message.