Bob Ellis: baddies and worsies

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Will Tony Abbott's latest ‘baddies versus baddies’ gaffe be enough to swing the polls — or will something else emerge. Bob Ellis comments.

Meme circulating after the Sunday Telegraph's front page endorsement of "Tony". (Image by Wixxyleaks.com)

I’M NOT SURE what the polls mean, but the situation is altering rapidly.

Palmer and Katter will have twenty per cent in Queensland by Tuesday, twenty-five by Thursday, and the two-party preferred in that state will be meaningless. Abbott’s ‘baddies versus baddies’ gaffe will play big; or not.

Galaxy has Abbott on 38 as preferred Prime Minister, Rudd on 45. Newspoll has Abbott on 43, Rudd on 41.

Morgan, distributing Palmer preferences as Clive directs, claims Rudd will lose his seat. Galaxy has him on 57.

It is a bit hard to read. But it well may be that Abbott’s no-show on Q&A tonight and his concealment of his numbers until Rudd is on his feet at the Press Club on Thursday, plus Carr presiding at the UN, plus the ‘baddies versus baddies’ clunker, plus the apprenticeship and small business policies, plus the late-breaking pro-gay young vote − uncounted thus far in the landline polling − will either push Labor over the line, or result in a dog’s breakfast Rudd-Palmer-Katter-Bandt-Wilkie-McGowan agreement, or a Palmer-Turnbull one, or…

My wife, who has predictive powers, and gets these jigsaw images in her mind she correctly deciphers long months before election night, thinks a cobbled-together Rudd-Katter-Palmer Choir of Hard Knocks will occur.

It is barely worth saying how contemptible Newspoll’s figures are.

They allege that Abbott, in the week of the Debate, and the Boats-Buy-Back, and the swelling hatred of the Toorak-Turramurra Baby Binge nationwide gained four hundred thousand votes as preferred Prime Minister and overtook Rudd for the first time in that category in four years. This is well within the pigs-fly school of hypotheticals and, really, not worth mentioning.

It may be, or it may well prove, ‘bad guys versus bad guys’ is the Abbott version of the Hewson birthday cake. It may be, or it may well prove, the New Guinea Solution is Rudd’s Tampa. Or the baby money is Abbott’s GST. But something is happening and it’s not, this week, not now, in Abbott’s favour.

The story of his deserted bride, revealed now, would finish him.

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