Everyone in political circles a while back used to love to talk about "the narrative" and there was undoubtedly a strong narrative across much of the media this week -- that the federal government has had a pretty terrible couple of weeks and overall, a pretty bad year as well. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his senior ministers have spent the last couple of days repeating what a good year they think it has been, with the boats all but stopped, the carbon tax and mining tax gone and free trade agreements signed across northeast Asia.

From most media commentators' point of view, the poor and worsening polls, the inability to get many of the most high profile changes in the budget through the senate and the Coalition loss in Victoria after just one term trumps those issues, and it does seem that punters remain very much focused on the hip pocket nerve and domestic issues when they are answering pollsters questions at the moment.