The political commentariat across this broad, brown land continues to beat the drum for an early federal election later this year.
They include my old mate Dennis Atkins who in a couple of essays has more or less declared he’ll take a long walk on a short pier if Scott Morrison doesn’t drive out to Yarralumla for a poll in August or soon after.
Dennis and others bang on as if a poll some eight months early in our already shittily short three-year election cycle is the most natural thing to do in the political world.
True, they’re assuming that the Father of the Nation, the best wartime leader we still might have if the 7-hour war against China comes to pass, the man who single-handedly led us through the murky, deadly, depths of the coronavirus pandemic and through to a blue-skied, world-beating economic recovery on the other side wouldn’t risk losing almost a full year of the four-day weeks he’s been putting in at a very reasonable salary unless he was sure of victory when pulling the pin so early.
And herein lies the catch, one that the mainstream media seems incapable of seeing. Or that I am seriously blind to.
As the nation’s most accurate amateur psephologist, I simply cannot see any way Morrison by August will be facing positive opinion polls that would see him urging his ComCar1 driver to speed up on his way to see the GG.
So, are my hunches of what is to come based more on the heart that the head that has successfully predicted so, so very few election outcomes?
Dennis Atkins’ latest essay on the inevitability of an early poll was penned after Newspoll put both parties ona 50-50 two-party split and the Essential poll a few days later had the government on 44% to the ALP’s 47% with 8% undecided. Using a different methodology to Newspoll, Essential has discounted the undecided vote to come up with a 2PP vote of LNP 48 to Labor’s 52.
So my thinking is fairly basic: are those two results the first signs of a turnaround in political support for the LNP. Or will the ship of state rightwing itself again over coming months as the COVID-19 vaccination program unfolds and a grateful Australian public focuses on that and that alone – as some MSM observers think should happen – and the FOUN surges to a deserved second term?
My best guess is that Morrison’s support base will drift further as JobKeeper ends on March 31. And that those on JobSeeker will not be all that grateful for staying under the poverty line with whatever small increase comes their way from notorious bean-counters such as Morrison and Josh Frydenberg.
And that an already delayed – maybe even bungled – vaccine rollout is not going to win over the side of politics hoping for a fourth term.
There are plenty of months left for voters to think about and judge this government on a number of issues and not just the Peter Hartcher-led theory that Morrison bravely and astutely led the coronvirus fightback from the get-go and deserves the number one tick for that alone.
So as I adjust my slightly crooked amateur psephologist’s shingle, here’s my prediction. There will be no federal election this year. Morrison will hang on to what I hope is a grim political death in Mayish 2022.
And if Dennis is up to it, let’s have a $10 scratchie on that! Sorry, mate, but that’s all I can afford right now.