The verdict on the budget. The pollsters will be out in force to provide a verdict on this week’s federal budget with Newspoll and Nielsen no doubt published on Monday. For those who can’t wait here’s a little preview and it does not look promising for the government.

The Crikey Election Indicator, based on the assessment of the betting market, shows no improvement for Labor at all. The probability of the government being returned when the election is finally held is put at just over 17%:

And the chances of Julia Gillard leading her party to that defeat are being assessed unfavourably as well:

A quote of the day

“Well of course it is! Every new technology is more expensive. What if we hadn’t started using computers because they were more expensive than typewriters? What if we hadn’t started using cell phones because they were more expensive than land lines? Where would we be?”

— US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus counters the argument that renewable energy is more expensive

Some news and views noted along the way.