The punters are yawning. So you think the affairs of South Australian Premier Mike Rann are of political significance? Then hop straight on the phone to your local bookie and back the Liberals for next year’s election because the price about Labor has hardly changed at all. The money says the Rann-led government is still a good thing to win.

The Crikey Election Indicator, which looks at the markets on these things and takes out any profit margins to give a probability to 100%, still has Labor as an 80% chance to 20% for the Liberals.


That’s about the same chances as given to Labor and the coalition federally although after the Liberal shenanigans in Canberra this week Labor will probably end up as an even greater chance of winning.

In New South Wales, Labor continues to languish on the indicator despite the shows of strength by Premier Nathan Rees and the support now being given to him by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Only in Tasmania does the Crikey Indicator suggest that there will be a close contest. Despite the appallingly low vote being shown by Labor in the opinion polls, the Liberals do not look strong enough to get a majority in their own right. The slight lead held by Labor on the indicator suggests that a minority government supported by the Greens is the most likely outcome in the island state in March.

A hot year needed. All that Bob Brown and his Greens need now to have a great result at the next election is for 2010 to be a record hot year. His party is the only one to emerge from the debate on the emissions trading scheme with reputation intact. To the environmentally concerned, the Labor Party now looks like a party of wusses, more interested in its own survival in government than the future of the planet. It has sought the safety of the middle ground where it now huddles with the Malcolm Turnbull Liberals.

The only other party of principle is the Nationals, which, however wrongly, have decided that global warming is nonsense. Perhaps if next year is a particularly cool one they will benefit from their maverick view come polling day but I am impressed by the evidence pointing towards the El Nino giving us a worldwide spell of warm weather in 2010 just as it did back in 1998.

The shame continues. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures out this morning show that infant mortality rates for indigenous Australians in 2008 were about twice the rates for all Australians.

Modeling the future. If, like me, you struggle a bit with all this computer modelling business that is so much part and parcel of the global warming debate, I would recommend the article The Difficulties of Predicting Climate Change from Der Spiegel. It helps understanding of the complexities involved in an occupation where you will not really know what the future holds until it arrives but where it is necessary to have a stab at things before it might be too late.