Did petro-populism take a while to work? In the latest Morgan poll taken last weekend, the Government’s support slumped 4% and the Coalition picked 4.5% to leave the 2PP vote at 58.5%-41.5%. Not exactly neck-and-neck, but a shot in the arm for the Coalition, which until now has failed to get any poll bounce from its 5c-a-litre excise stunt. The poll was taken after a Parliamentary week dominated initially by Fuelwatch, but which eventually shook off the cloying grip of petrol which had been choking political debate for weeks. The Government might be relying on the sort of poll bounce that the Prime Minister obtained after his triumphant world tour (minus Japan) earlier this year to restore its fortunes – except for the problem of Belinda Neal taking some angry pills.

However, 54% of people polled (up 4.5%) thought “Australia is heading in the right direction”, while 27% (down 3%) believe “Australia is heading in the wrong direction”. Maybe a society that obsesses about petrol prices on an overheating planet running out of its primary fuel source is the sort of place Australians are comfortable with.