The game is not back on – an update

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 

The last two days have been a reminder why psephological sites are a popular alternative to the mainstream press in this country.

Once again political journalists have shown that they never let polling numbers get in the way of a good narrative, namely that Nelson was an aberration and the Liberals are back in the game.

It wasn’t just that the polling bounce from Turnbull was either modest (AC Nielsen) or non-existent (Newspoll). Even the meaningless preferred PM poll that all the journalists focussed on, may have made Turnbull look good against Nelson, but hardly anyone else. AC Nielsen’s historical comparisons aren’t readily available but the 24% Turnbull reported by Newspoll puts him in on a par with Crean and Latham during the final days of the crack-up. Can’t quite remember what Mr Shanahan thought about their chances at the time.

Probably two take-aways from the new Liberal front bench. Firstly, those who think Turnbull’s rise represents a new direction for the Liberals will struggle to find evidence for one in the line-up and may even be asking what a right-wing social conservative like Sophie Mirabella is doing with the women’s portfolio. Secondly, there are some powerful people sidelined (sort of) in the reshuffle, notably Minchin and Abbott. The latter was an odd decision. Given that Abbott has just undermined his portfolio by saying he was bored with it, to keep him there effectively gives Macklin a free run. Are both of those planning to leave politics soon with Costello? Maybe not.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Tuesday, 23 September 2008.

Filed under Media analysis

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