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At the half way mark can Labor feel confident of victory?

Saturday, April 30

1 Whatever it was, the week’s rest seems to have done wonders for Anthony Albanese. His performance at last Saturday morning’s press conference was as good as l has seen from him. And it must be said that other members of the leadership group who accompanied him gave equally passionate performances.

And it has to be said that having shadow ministers backing the leader was impressive. A cohesive team will always beat a group of individuals.

With another debate scheduled for next Sunday, at 8.30 pm at Nine’s Sydney studios, l expect a fiery confrontation.

Sunday, May 1

2 But prior to that, the Labor Party’s Campaign Launch in Western Australia was a spectacular success. Jason Clare is proving to be a winner as the media front man with a unique grasp of policy combined with an astonishing capacity for wit.

The usual luminaries of past Labor Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating were in attendance, as were the Western Australian premier, witty Mark McGowan, and the newly elected South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas.

In 2013, Albanese was the deputy Prime Minister, and Labor faced a self-inflicted defeat. Back then, he floundered, struggling to contain his emotions. On Sunday, Albanese brimmed with a different emotion, proud of his party of which he was now the Leader, daring to hope beyond hope that he was a winner.

The Opposition Leader said that after the challenges of the past three years, be it floods, fires, or the pandemic – Australians had “earned a better future“.

Labor promised reduced medication costs, a rollout of new charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and a focus on improving pay equity for women via the Fair Work Act.

The decision to reduce the cost of drugs on the PBS by $12.50 means the maximum price for medicines for millions of Australians would be $30.

A shared equity scheme to improve housing affordability for low and middle-income earners that had been announced earlier was met with rapturous applause.

Albanese also said his government would use “all the tools in our power to close the gender pay gap“.

The most applause was reserved for statements about Australians deserving a government that would shape the future. All in all, Albanese gave a direct account of the current political situation and how it can do a better job.

Every Australian should ask whether Australia needs a campaigner or a leader. Do we need a bullshit artist or a leader? A corrupt Prime Minister or a leader without baggage? A perverted liar or a leader?

Albo as he is known, claimed that Australians had “worked out” Scott Morrison. A claim that I wholeheartedly support.

“Australians understand we can’t bet our future on three more years of a prime minister who looks at every challenge facing our country and says that’s not my job…

For a decade now, the Liberals and Nationals have treated governing as an inconvenience and public money as a political slush fund.”

I will not run from responsibility or treat every crisis as a chance to blame someone else.

I will show up, I will step up, I will bring people together. I will lead with integrity and treat you with respect.”

Of course, it was full of symbolic messages and not a lot of policy which was part of the Labor plan to allow Morrison nothing to get his mouth into.

Monday, May 2

3 The Australian’s headlines in response to Labor’s launch (paywalled).

Albanese’s Labor is rhetoric-rich, policy-poor

There has never been a Labor launch like this. Powerful rhetoric and symbolism to conceal the most modest policy offering from federal Labor at any election in the past 50 years.

Plenty of ideas but no grand plan in low-key launch

Anthony Albanese has vowed to change Australia by doing very little different. This is the fundamental contradiction in Labor’s case for change.

4 Here is one I nearly missed. It was in The Australian of all places (paywalled) “Peter Dutton flies under the radar in drone deal”:

“Peter Dutton gave the green light days before the election for the purchase – without an open tender process – of ­reconnaissance drones used by China and Russia.”

Conservatives say that poverty is the fault of the impoverished, but wealth comes from virtue, and both are the natural order of things.

5 With just 17 days to go, Morrison has made up little ground. The latest Newspoll courtesy of The Poll Bludger shows that Labor leads the Coalition 53/47:

“Labor’s lead is steady at 53-47, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 38% and the Coalition steady at 36%. One Nation has gained two points to 5% now that it is offered as a response option in every seat where it is fielding candidates, which is to say all but two of them compared with a little more than a third at the 2019 election, while the United Australia Party is steady on 4%. The report is silent on the Green’s primary vote, but the full results should be up reasonably shortly. (UPDATE: The Greens are steady at 11%). The poll also found that 56% believed it was time for a change of government, with 44% favouring the alternative response that the Coalition deserved to be returned.”

“Also out today from the Age/Herald is the second Resolve Strategic poll for the campaign, which finds the Coalition down two on 33% and Labor steady on 34%.”

“Resolve Strategic does not provide a two-party preferred result (though the Age/Herald report fills the gaps), but these numbers suggest around 54-46 in favour of Labor using flows from the 2019 election.”

The Essential Poll shows that:

“… while primary support is flatlining, Labor retains a lead over the Coalition of 49% to 45% on a two-party preferred ‘plus’ measure.”

The polls have recently done better in predicting state elections. Let’s hope that the corrections they have made to how they collect data have been a success. That being said there are still many people who remain undecided or who have dropped out altogether.

6 Latest betting from Sportsbet has Labor at $1.44 and the Coalition at $2.72. Ladbrokes are offering $1.80 for Labor and $2.00 for the Coalition. The latter seems a bit out of whack.

7 The economy is being run by a minister who may very well lose his seat, but the message is; “We are best to manage the economy”. A contradiction in terms? Go figure.

Wednesday 4 May

8 When I first saw this breathtaking list, I thought it was just another of those lists that show the government for what they are.

Nothing more than corrupt rorters. I got to number 200, thinking that would talk about the duration of the Morrison Government. How mistaken I was. The list covers the period from Abbott to Morrison. It is published by The Saturday Paper (compiled by Matthew Davis) and is titled “Achievements of the Coalition government” it lists some 1011 of them. The worst part is that they are all authentic. I’m hoping this link will get me a free subscription.

My thought for the day

A Coalition leads the nation, but we never see the two leaders together when they campaign. Why is it so?

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  1. New England Cocky

    Thank you for seeing the encouraging light at the end of a too long dark tunnel of corruption, incompetence and uncaring self-interest by too many COALition politicians masquerading as a (mis) government.

    However, I fear that your list ”the challenges of the past three years, be it floods, fires, or the pandemic” excludes the most damaging challenge of all ….. government by the COALition borne-to-rule minority for the benefit of the foreign owned multinational corporations for the financial benefit of shareholders living overseas.

    Taking back our country is going to be difficult as the vested interests gnash their corporate teeth and pitifully cry crocodile tears that Australian voters are once again being made the central focus of government policies.

    No more government free handouts for private child-minding facilities, no more tunnelling under cities while interstate rail links lie abandoned to promote road transport, no more families living in cars or literally on the streets.

    It is time for NO MORE LIES VOTE LABOR

  2. Terence Mills

    My observation is that Australians are ready for a change and the bizarre and over the top reaction by the Liberal party to the independents seems to reveal a born to rule mentality in the coalition : how dare these talented, intelligent people challenge their rightful masters.

    Frydenberg and the rest of the Liberals seem to forget that at Federation, there were no political parties and the constitution as originally drawn up did not contemplate political parties and their attendant hierarchies.

    John Howard with his ranting is probably doing the coalition more harm than good :

    “They’re not independents, they’re anti-Liberal groupies,” Howard told a crowd of Liberal supporters at the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club. “I say that because they’re not running in any Labor seats.

    “If they were genuinely independent why would they not be running a candidate against Anthony Albanese in Grayndler or Tanya Plibersek in Sydney?”

    That, from John Howard who lost his seat and lost government in 2007 is nonsense

    Another sign of the panic gripping conservatives is the way SKY after dark has gone off like a frog in a sock – they stand to lose their major benefactor if Morrison goes.

  3. GL

    Imagine the defence minister, The Supreme Reichspud, being demoted to Lance Corporal Potato Gem on the opposition bench if the LNP lose. Huge blow to his ego, he’ll be back to being a nothing.

  4. Phil Pryor

    I’m one of many wishing to be rid of the filth of fornicatory fraudery and moronic Morrisonisms posing in effing hats and vests, but, this nation is plodding inexorably towards danger if not disaster. There are orthodox fears about employment, wages and conditions, money problems, environment, the usual deficiencies in health, education, etc., and anything B Joyce the rooting schoonerkiller can touch. Enough intelligent policy could be created and agreed from tertiary education areas, fed. gov. depts., some corporate research personnel, a small political state representation, and professional advisory bodies. Co-operation as a nation seemes vital, and the only real chance for improvement over the shitfights, scrums, rorts, bendoverfordonors stuff. With sicknesses, inflation, employment and immigration difficulties, natural disaster threats and general backwardness in participation, we have a poor outlook for this next term at least. A great ICAC type of cleanup would seem puritan or inquisitional, but should be PUSHED. Then we might dream of Murdoch’s exit, shaming of careerist crims and crooks, a cleaner, safer land, and more security for the needy and unlucky.

  5. Stephen Smith

    Thanks for your articles John, always a good read. Opened the link of the Coalitions acheivements and are just appalled by our MSM who are so corrupted/lazy/bought in not doing due-diligence reporting on these absolute shocking policies. Remind me again, when did we become so blase about our democracy and country going to the gutter. Bring on May the 21st.

  6. John Lord

    Stephen Smith. During the Howard years.

  7. wam

    It is in scummo’s interest to push two lines:
    The ‘teal’ is preferred over labor and who gives a rat’s arse about fryburger
    The slogan labor and the greens.
    These pushes will heat up as scummo’s panic prevails.
    Contrary to the meaningless ABC wheel, lord. the libs and the nats are separate parties
    A coalition occurs after an election, lord, when no single party wins a majority. When tim fischer retired Susson Ley took Farrer from the nationals in 2001 by a couple of hundred votes(labor???)
    My memory and research skills are not good enough to check but I believe no party other than labor can garner enough seats to win government and the bandit wants to prevent that from happening by taking up to 9 labor seats using liberal preferences and I see labor lying back and thinking of england.

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