The game is not back on – a further update

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 

We have now had three polls since Turnbull arrived; AC Nielsen showing a three-point movement to the Liberals, Newspoll showing a one-point movement and now Essential Research (courtesy of Poll Bludger) also showing just a one-point shift to the Liberals. The last was held over two weeks straddling Turnbull’s election, so unless it cancelled out a Labor ‘bounce’ towards it in the first week (unlikely from a 58-42 base) Turnbull’s election hasn’t done much good for the Liberals’ rating in this poll either. The media’s narrative of a Turnbull-led revival is starting to look like the myth it always was.

Given Turnbull’s mediocre personal ratings it is not hard to understand why. Turnbull scored worse than Rudd on all of the attributes but the one he scored even worse than Nelson on was “arrogance”, which is the killer. None of this, of course, is really about personality. No doubt reports of Rudd’s arrogance are true, but he scores even better than Humble Nelson because he knows how to avoid it becoming a political disadvantage (as seen again on Rove the other night). The importance of a politician not being seen as arrogant in an anti-political environment was a lesson also learnt by Howard as he saw how it damaged Keating. Since coming to the leadership, Turnbull has failed to address this problem and allowed the government already to define him.

Dealing with it now will be tough because Turnbull still has a problem of authority with the party, which unlike Rudd’s has not fully given up the past. A very ambiguous show of supoort by Costello on Lateline last night shows that the old leadership may have lost control, but has by no means given up on getting it back.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Wednesday, 24 September 2008.

Filed under Political figures

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