Not quite the conflagration we expected. What a disappointment. There we were sitting in the Canberra press gallery hoping for one last good week of leadership speculation. And along comes Newspoll and ruins it all. Labor was meant to go backwards not forwards. What a bore this last week of parliamentary sittings will be now. I mean, we might actually be reduced to writing about what happens in the Parliament — legislation and all that kind of thing.

The indicator was not moved. The Crikey federal election indicator was left unmoved by the latest round of opinion poll releases — Morgan on Friday, Newspoll and Essential this morning — and the by-election for the NSW state seat of Penrith. Labor is still rated as a 63% chance of retaining office.

21-06-2010 crikeyelectionindicators

For the NSW state election due next year the probability of a coalition victory has increased slightly.

One new feature for those liking a bet on political outcomes is that Centrebet now has Labor and coalition federally equal chances of victory when 2½ seats are taken off Labor and 2½ added to the Liberals. That bookie would seem to be assuming that the best guess of the eventual result is a two-party preferred vote of Labor 50.2% to 49.8% for the coalition.

Declaring an interest. There’s no attempt by the boss of the Roy Morgan polling organisation to disguise his political convictions. Gary Morgan, chairman of a minor mining company, declares on his website this morning:

Our latest Morgan Poll conducted June 12/13, 2010 gave the ALP 51.5%, L-NP 48.5% — forget the published telephone polls showing the L-NP with a big lead — the federal election will be close, and the ALP people I have spoken to (all close to ‘god’) know where the ALP now stands — in a good position to win the next federal election — then Australia will need more than ‘god’ to help us!

Like the Eureka Trials “through out” the treason charges in 1855 the Rudd Government must now “throw out” the proposed 40% Mining ‘Super Profits’ Tax to reverse the damage already done to Australian’s ‘sovereign risk.’

The 40% Mining “Super Profits” Tax issue is bigger than the Mining Companies (not wanting to pay more tax), the issue is bigger than the L-NP Opposition wanting to win the next Federal election — it is about the future of Australia and all Australians.

Trotting out the political wife. When a political leader trots out his wife for a major television appearance after taking a charming daughter to a formal ball, we know two things. An election is near and the nervousness is rising. Kevin Rudd did both last week as he sought to prop up his flailing popularity with the help of two women key to his life.

I’m sure no harm was done by either appearance. The Prime Minister came across on 60 Minutes as the head of a happy family with a genuinely supportive wife. No suggestion there of a man with a foul temper that regularly flares out of control when not in public view.

The only trouble is that addressing this kind of question at all is of the “when did you stop beating your wife” variety. On Sunday night the references just served as a reminder of the allegations of temper tantrums with his staff in the same way as the attempts at joking about them at the press gallery ball did.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey