Friday’s Morgan poll had federal Labor ahead of the government 59 to 41 two party preferred. Such a result, if repeated at an election – assuming a uniform swing – would translate to… well…you know the rest. (Bodies and car-wrecks everywhere. Only 27 of the current 87 Coalition seats would remain.)

The Mumble poll-mix for the fortnight to last Friday, weighting for sample size and estimating notional two party preferred support from pollsters’ primary numbers, has Labor ahead 58 to 42. (There’s more on the methodology here.)

Usually the graph only goes back a few months, but today just for a change we begin in January 2006. The data almost evenly divides between the Kim Beazley Labor leadership — until early December last year — and Kevin Rudd’s after that.

The picture, which resembles perhaps an up-ended, very jagged wine-glass — says it all. The post-Rudd change was extraordinary, and still, month after month, despite expectations, the lines refuse to converge.

Twelve years ago, opposition leader John Howard was rarely ahead of Prime Minister Keating by such amounts.

Tomorrow of course comes Newspoll, and while everybody involved knows how silly it is to put so much importance on one survey, no-one can help themselves. Larger forces are at work.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey