Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Newspoll: ALP 54-LNP 46

You have to feel for journalists sometimes. Their job is to tells the news but also to sell newspapers, or in the case online papers, to get a high hit count.

So when you get a Newspoll that once again has the ALP in front, once again has the ALP with a bigger lead then they had at the Nov 2007 election, and once again has Kevin Rudd as the most favoured PM by a massive margin, what are you to do?

Well if you're Samantha Maiden you come up with the following:

Coalition reels in Labor lead as Kevin Rudd takes break

THE Coalition has capitalised on Kevin Rudd's absence over the summer break, slashing Labor's commanding 18-point lead on a two-party-preferred basis to just eight points.

Twenty-four hours after returning to work from his three-week holiday, the Prime Minister's first Newspoll for the year shows satisfaction among voters with the way he is doing his job has dropped by seven points to 63per cent.

One in four voters are now dissatisfied with how Mr Rudd is doing his job, although unhappiness with Malcolm Turnbull, who has also been on holiday over the summer, remains higher, with 31per cent dissatisfied with the Opposition Leader's performance, according to Newspoll.

So to recap, the Coalition capitalised on Rudd taking a holiday by doing nothing, and this reaped huge benefits - Kevin Rudd now leads Turnbull as preferred PM 60-22; and the percentage of voters satisfied with Turnbull's performance went from 47% to 45%.

Not exactly the type of numbers that will have the ALP quaking in their boots.

But ok the two party preferred number is better. Yep a real eye opener that one - a 10 point narrowing! Except of course the ALP was always going to drop from having 59% support - hell even I called that one "idiotic".

Here's the last seven Newspoll results for the ALP:
55, 55, 54, 55, 55, 59, 54.
Take away the dopey 59%, and basically it's no change. But Samantha Maiden won't let that get in the way:

This is his [Turnbull's] strongest result since late November, and will boost confidence in the Coalition ranks after rumblings late last year over perceptions that Mr Turnbull's leadership style was sometimes autocratic.

So the Coalition will be rejoicing that they are now in a worse position than they were at the last election. They will be ecstatic that Turnbull's preferred PM rating is at historic lows, and their confidence will be boosted because Rudd's satisfaction rating is no longer at a record high; merely at a level better than any PM except those called Kevin Rudd.

If this is good, gee I hate for a bad result.

But let's be honest; it's an nothing poll. Neither Rudd nor Turnbull have done anything since mid-December. In fact were I cynical (moi?), I would suggest that this result means people like Turnbull when he goes on holiday, and they don't like it when Rudd is not at work.

And so now with the silly season over, both sides will prepare for the year's battle. Turnbull will no doubt keep saying the Government should cut taxes, stimulate the economy and also keep the budget in surplus (or if he wanted to be more sensible he could suggest Rudd go swimming without getting wet).

Rudd on the other hand will try to appear as though he can do anything to stop the impact of the rest of the world going down the toilet from hitting Australia. And failing that (which he probably will) he will try to persuade the voters that it was all the fault of the rest of the world going down the toilet.

Will they believe him? Probably. The key point though, will be whether they continue to believe he can do the job better than Turnbull.

Politics is a game of tennis, you only need to beat your opponent, and at the moment Rudd is up 2 sets to love.

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