Another honeymoon ends – an update

Tuesday, 17 June 2008 

The Australian thinks Nelson has blown his fuel ‘edge’ but that’s only because they thought he had one in the first place.

The fall in Nelson’s preferred PM status in this Newspoll is no more significant than the rise reported in the last one. More likely the increased publicity during the petrol hoo-hah meant that the public, understandably, were more willing to put a tick against someone they have seen on the telly. With Nelson back out of the limelight, we have all forgotten who he is and back down he goes.

Of course the real problem lies with The Australian and the rest of the media that simply cannot grasp the realignment that is underway in Australian politics and why a government that seems to be careering from crisis to crisis, according to them, actually saw its polling rise to an eye-watering 59%/41%.

However, having failed to admit their mistakes over a year of getting it wrong, the media is unlikely to do so now and this is probably bad news for Nelson. The only explanation will be that Nelson had a gift handed to him on a plate and he stuffed it up. In reality, the media forgets that while it may find that 80% of Australians want the government to bring petrol prices down (who doesn’t?) only 20% think that it can, while almost half think it is beyond the power of any Australian government no matter what their hue. This is likely to be even higher after a week of Rudd globe-trotting to make petrol an international issue.

For the Liberals, taking their cue from the media, as they have been doing for a while now, they too will think the government is more vulnerable than it is and that Nelson simply didn’t go in hard enough. You can hear it the more you can hear Hockey’s braying in the background at Question Time. At a guess, it will be the old leadership (Hockey/Abbott/Bishop not Turnbull) who will make the lunge. Oh dear.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Tuesday, 17 June 2008.

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