Tony Abbott and the Coalition are currently leading by 10-14 points 2PP, a lead that hasn’t changed for the best part of a year. Their triumph is easy to explain: the government narrowly won a second term by promising not to introduce a carbon tax, and was then obliged by two newly elected Green and independent Green supporters to do so, as the price of a coalition. The deal won them three years of government and may damn them for a decade hence.
Other factors have helped — their farcical handling of the refugee issue, the leaderlessness of a government now composed entirely of needy apparatchiks — but the carbon tax appears to have sunk them. Paradoxically, it will be their historical triumph; if a post-Labor Senate can lock it in, then it will be, for the Gillard government, a monument — and like all monuments, testimony to a burial. Such is life, and the other thing.