Scott Morrison victorian election
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The contours of the culture wars were sharply in evidence last week in commentary on the government's parliamentary defeat on asylum seekers -- not just in terms of the issue's moral dimensions, but also in its electoral impact.

For much of the Murdoch empire, the parliamentary vote and the government offensive that followed have amounted to a "Tampa moment" for Scott Morrison, who now finds a seemingly improbable election victory within his grasp.