A daring election strategy. Britain’s Conservative Leader of the Opposition David Cameron is certainly game. His closing address to his Party’s conference overnight continued the theme outlined earlier by the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer that tax rises and spending cuts will be coming with a new Conservative Government.

I’m not used to politicians telling something like the truth in this way and it will be interesting to see whether the British voters are as well. It all sounds a bit like John Hewson to me and we know what finally happened to him. Although the polls this week had Gordon Brown’s Labor Government nine points behind perhaps this race is not yet over.

When all else is failing. You are trying desperately to instigate a leadership coup and everything you try is failing. What’s a poor journalist to do? Public opinion poll after opinion poll is predicting a smashing defeat but still the party room won’t act.

Then it must be time to unveil some really disastrous internal party polling. So it was that this morning Steve Lewis and Malcolm Farr came out in the Sydney Daily Telegraph with the so-called news that a confidential survey, commissioned by the Liberal party’s national organisation, points to the Rudd Government picking up 20 additional seats if an election was called now.

Among those who would go down the gurgler of defeat would be Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and his potential replacement Joe Hockey.

Memo Peter Dutton — an idea for today. Perhaps you would like to inquire of the Federal Health Minister how many more cases like that of Rashpal Hayer will there have to be before she acts rather than talk about fixing the public hospital system. No doubt the shadow Health Minister will remain silent, being more interested in finding a safe seat for himself than in making health the key subject for attacking the Rudd Government.

The Crikey Eaters Report. If it is differences of opinion that make a healthy restaurant scene then Australia clearly has it. We asked Crikey readers to nominate their favourite eating place in two categories — for everyday eating and for a special night out —and 652 different restaurants scored at least one nomination. There was no run away winner in any state with selections in the everyday category being especially widespread. The nearest our Crikey participants got to a consensus was in Sydney where Tetsuya’s was the first choice of nearly 10 per cent of eaters in the special night out category.

The Crikey winning choices are listed below.We will bring you a comprehensive list by state and restaurant type on Monday.

EVERYDAY EATING

  • Canberra: Dickson Asian Noodle House and Portia’s Place (equal)
  • Melbourne: Cookie, Swanston St and Station Hotel, Footscray (equal)
  • Adelaide: Europa Glenelg and Jasmin (equal)
  • Sydney: Maya Masala, Cleveland Street
  • Brisbane: Beccofino Teneriffe
  • Perth: Cantina, Mt Lawley
  • Hobart: Me Wah
  • Darwin: Asian Gateway, Nightcliff

FINE DINING

  • Canberra: Ottoman and Rubicon (equal)
  • Melbourne: Flower Drum and Vue de Monde (equal)
  • Adelaide: Jasmin
  • Sydney: Tetsuyas
  • Brisbane: Cafe dell Ugo
  • Perth: Lamonts and Restaurant Amuse (equal)
  • Hobart: Me Wah
  • Northern Territory: Hanuman, Alice Springs

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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