(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Anthony Albanese is, apparently, a dead man walking. Despite a good Newspoll this week, the Labor leader has been written off by some who say the party is desperate to dump him before a potential early election.

The latest attack piece, from The Australian’s Troy Bramston, is a characteristic mix of assertion, gossip and historical analogy. While Albanese’s leadership has at times seemed confused and anaemic, commentary like this which spells his almost certain demise follows a tried and tested pattern.

There's the heavy-handed metaphors about bloodshed; the animal imagery; the pumping up of potential leadership aspirants; and, of course, the commentary provided by “nameless sources” keen to settle personal scores. This piece is a classic example of how to foreshadow a political coup.