I made a brave call last week – that the Government can win if it gets its economic pitch right.

They don’t seem to be having much luck.

First, there was no Budget bounce. The punters obviously believed they deserved the largesse.

Now, the latest Galaxy poll suggests that they are in deeper trouble.

It appears that voters have wised up to the trick that got John Howard across the line in 2001 and last time round.

The electorate has realised that the Prime Minister is bribing them with their own money.

According to Galaxy, only 32% of voters believe that the $17.3 billion surplus announced last week is a product of “good financial management”.

Instead, 51% believe the Government has “mainly achieved this surplus through tax rates being too high”.

If you do the arithmetic and divide the surplus by the population, it appears that every single Australian has been billed $822 by the federal government.

It’s nonsense to claim this is good government.

And the punters know this, or so Galaxy suggests.

That’s very bad news for the PM.

His strategy of picking off the marginals with targeted announcements already looks opportunistic.

It looks as if he is making scrappy, piecemeal policy rather than policy that is part of a coherent whole.

This creates a further risk – that the Prime Minister is looking desperate.

Voters like to back a winner, Galaxy’s David Briggs reminded us in an article in the Sunday Telegraph.

All this may only fuel Labor’s poll momentum.