The last fortnight did little to change the political momentum. A retreat on Workchoices, that was not having as much electoral impact as the labour movement likes to pretend, and a Budget that was so politically astute that within two days interest was swept away by Rudd’s proposal to put more lathes in high schools. Today’s lack of movement in the Galaxy poll just confirmed the obvious.

The more interesting development was what happened to the commentariat. The applause for Howard’s Workchoice U-turn and the Budget was almost universal from media commentators but by the weekend there was starting to appear some nerves that the coalition’s brilliance might not actually translate to the polls. Even one of the government’s biggest cheerleaders, Denis Shanahan, suddenly produced an escape clause with an article in Saturday’s Australian on the minimal poll impact of previous budgets. He ended with a rather confusing prediction that a slight increase in support for either the coalition or Labor was more likely than no change at all.

The high interest in this round of polls seems to matter more for the commentariat’s own credibility than for the state of the political parties themselves. In this respect there is some similarity to 2004 in that the media’s political commentators appear to be having something of a confidence crisis. Last time it was getting wrong the failure of Latham, this time, the resilience of Rudd.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Monday, 14 May 2007.

Filed under Media analysis

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