Federal election: State of play on day five

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Bob Ellis believes that by Day Five of the election, the chances of an Abbott victory at the next Federal election are looking slim.*

Kevin Rudd anounces his new ministry in Newcastle this morning. (Image screenshot from ABC News 24.)

IT IS UNLIKELY that the party of Abbott, Pyne, Bishop and Hockey can win more than fifty seats now.

Pyne and Hockey are involved in the framing of Slipper, Pyne and Abbott, in the framing of Thomson, and Bishop useless in any debate with Bob Carr. The Palmer/Katter vote may be as much as 35 per cent in Queensland, where no Coalition seat will be safe.

The difficulty Abbott now has is finding an argument for his election. The high-target ministers – Gillard, Conroy, Combet and Swan – are no longer there. Nobody cares about the surplus any more. Everything Rudd is proposing is popular. Everything Abbott is proposing (sack public servants, take back schoolkids’ money, abolish Gonski, redefine disability) seems churlish.

Day by day his border protection policy ‒ pointing guns at Indonesians and telling them to go away, and shooting them if they point guns back ‒ looks more bizarre. The religious vote lost by the atheist Gillard is back with Rudd, the family-loving churchgoer. And Abbott ‒ after four years of hairy-chested shrieking ‒ seems like yesterday’s man.

What is worth saying now, at last, is the Liberal vote was soft. It was not Labor the voters were against, it was Gillard Labor.

Rudd Labor is very comfortable and what Gillard’s ministry did – NDIS, Gonski, broadband, super – was very popular. It is likely, in fact, that the Labor vote was never actually lost — it became a million “Undecided”.

And it is back now. And if, as I suspect, eighty per cent of the Newspoll respondents are over sixty, it is probably that Labor, two party preferred, is on 52 already and rising.

Though Labor has lost some talent there are still seventeen potential Prime Ministers in its line-up – Carr, Clare, Crean, Dreyfus, Faulkner, Husic, Kelly, Lundy, Macklin, Plibersek, Shorten, Wong, Albo, Bradbury, Bowen, Burke, Butler – and on the Liberal side, only one — Malcolm Turnbull.

This comparison will become more clear as the campaign warms up.

And the Liberal Party, and its loathed country cousin the LNP, is doomed.

* Editor’s note: these views contained in this piece are those of the author alone and not necessarily those of Independent Australia.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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