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Poll Bounce – The Good News For Abbott!

Ok, over the past few weeks, the following things have happened:

  1. The Liberals considered getting rid of Tony Abbott.
  2. Phil Ruddock was dumped as the Whip.
  3. Abbott told us that he’d lost confidence in a woman in an important position, and wanted to replace her, and while, it’s not clear with whom he’d replace her, I’d be willing to bet that a man would get the job.

Mm, I’m wondering which of those was the reason for the bounce in the poll.

But as I’ve often argued, opinion polls are a bit like a horse race where not only are we viewing the horses a long way from the from the finish line, but we only get to see a small number of the horses.

“Wow, that one looks to be travelling well,” says the pundit, completely ignoring that not only is it fifty lengths behind the leader, but it’s also known as being unable to last the distance in racing of this length.

Whatever, I haven’t caught up with any news today – unless you count reading “The Herald-Sun” at work, which means that should stop reading this right now or you’ll end up with a headache – so I have no idea which anonymous person is being quoted as saying that Abbott has…

  1. …until the middle of the year to turn things around. OR
  2. …until the middle of March to turn things around. OR
  3. …until the party room meeting to turn things around. OR
  4. –the total support of the party now that he’s turned things around. OR
  5. …no chance of surviving a vote right now because he makes too many captains call. No wait, I mean captain’s calls. Whatever, this is off the record, so print it anyway and I’ll just hope that nobody can pick me from all the other Minister’s who stuff things up when they speak… Don’t put that bit in about me being a Minister, that’s a dead giveaway.

But I’m nothing if I’m not inconsistent. When the media was constantly speculating about Julia Gillard by quoting unnamed sources, I thought it reprehensible, and reduced political journalism to little more than a gossip column. However, now that it’s Abbott turn, I find it absolutely right that we should be told what people may or may not have said and what they’re alleged to have said. And, of course, they can’t actually claim that they didn’t say anything because they don’t know if it was, or wasn’t them, being quoted, because if they were misquoted, then for all they know, the journalist may quoting another anonymous source high up in the Liberal Party.

As a source high up in the Liberal Party said to me last night, over drinks,as we lounged together sharing a quiet, but beautiful moment, where he (or she) pretended that they were disadvantaged and I did to him (or her) what they’ve done to the underpriveleged, “That was wonderful. I really think that you’d make a better PM than Abbott, but unfortunately the people of Australian get to elect the PM and it’s not up to the Party room to change that, because after all being Leader is a gift of the Party and could you please get me another drink and the Whip?”

Now, I know some of you won’t believe that anyone actually said that to me. But I’ll bet that nobody can find a single Liberal who’ll tell you that the above quote is what they didn’t say to me, so you certainly can’t find anyone to verify that I’m misquoting them.

And I guess that’s the problem with quoting anonymous sources. Yep, in some situations it’s necessary because they’re giving you factual information that can be verified with a little digging, but they have too much to lose or are too frightened to say it publicly, so they brief a journalist in the hope that it’ll lead to the truth coming out. But when the news cycle is dominated by quotes from people whose identity we’ll never know, and whose information may either be giving the journalist details about what’s really going on, or it may be someone attempting to create a view or belief that leads to an event actually happening.

What value is there if we’re told that Turnbull has the numbers to win a spill, Abbott has most people behind him, and most Liberals are behind Bishop as a Leader who could act as a “healer”?

The fact that there are so many “majorities” in the Liberal Party means that many of them can’t add up and certainly goes a long way towards explaining their difficulty in getting the Budget back into surplus.

Ok, I’m now going to do a search on “Abbott News” and post the first headline that appears. Let’s see if it’s a story on the Leadership Challenge, a bold, new initiative to help Australia in some way, or just something negative.

Here goes:

And the winner was:

Tony Abbott delivers rebuke to cabinet minister Peter Dutton over GP co-payment saga

The second was:

Fear – the Abbott government’s weapon of choice

Cheers, I need to go and touch base with my source, who I predict will tell me that Abbott is safe until he loses an election. Either in the party room or at a general election. Until then he’ll remain as PM.




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  1. crypt0

    “unless you count reading “The Herald-Sun” at work …
    Ha ha ha !!!
    Rhetorical question I think … but “no” anyway
    It’s even useless in the dunny since that super-soft, super-absorbent stuff came on the scene..

  2. lawrencewinder

    Hmmm… the day the “New-Improved-Poll” was announced I was talking to a female friend of my wife who is and always has been an avowed Liarbril voter. I asked her what she thought of the treatment of Professor Triggs. She said “Appalled.” I commented that this was the worst, most inept, most corrupt etc, etc, etc. She said, “You’ll probably not believe this, but I fully agree with your assessment.”

    I think this new poll is another form of “push-polling” a piece of propaganda, misinformation… because as you point out there has been nothing to sustain such a jump except perhaps that people really did think that Rabid-the-Hun was actually finished and that “Von Ribbentrop” Turnbull would put velvet gloves on the mailed fist.

  3. gangey1959

    I’ve told you once already. I hate having my base touched. And we all know that the entire Liberal Party, both in Parliament and partymembers in general are 100% behind Mr Abbott. Most are holding knives of one sort or another, but that is not to be leaked until Thursday. Unless Rupert tells me otherwise of course…..

  4. mars08

    It’s mind-boggling to contemplate…. but there are a bunch of brain-dead, bogan, bed-wetting, bigoted buffoons who will NEVER withdraw their support from the Liberal Party… no matter how insane their policies and actions.

  5. DanDark

    I must tell this story, about a couple of married Christian pastors I know,
    the wife was my 20 yr old sons teacher when he was in grade 4 at our local state school,
    For the past few years we have been putting their church flyer out 4 times a year,
    it advertisers church times and has christian stories blah blah blah,
    so we always charged them less than other clients cos they were good Christians and all…

    So last year the wife rang and asked if we could put their flyers out, I said yeah no worries, any way one word led to another and she was agreeing that Tony and Co needed to crack down on muslims, it was about the time when a lot of attacks were happening on muslim women,
    I couldn’t believe her rational, I said “you are a school teacher and I thought you were smarter than this” and hung up literally.

    A couple of ours later the husband turns up on his push bike with the box of flyers and the money to pay us for the job,
    I walked out and said “Do you agree with your wife that this attack on muslims by Phony Tony is appropriate, do you think making our young unemployed go without the dole for 6 months is smart”
    His reply was ” well we have been over seas and its really bad over there”
    I cut him off and said ” this Australia, not Greece, not the UK, not France and we have a tolerant society, don’t compare us to other countries” so as I was walking over to my verandah to pick up the box of flyers to give back to him,
    that he had just given to me a few minutes prior . it was like pass the parcel for a bit 🙂

    I said “so did you vote for Tony Abbott last election” he didn’t know what to say, he gathered his thoughts and slowly said back “yesssss Janice and I have voted Liberal since we were married 27 years ago blah blah blah”
    I walked over to him handed back the box of flyers and said “Now you can piss off with your religious shit and don’t ever come back got that” he just sat there on his bike for a tic a bit stunned
    I walked off inside and that was the end of that,,, my son said, “I knew you were going to give it to him Mum”,
    I replied “how son” he said “it was in your eyes Ma”, I said back “you know your Mum too well, unlike Mr Religious” 🙂
    I may have lost some money, but it was worth it to give it a die hard Christian liberal voter 🙂

  6. Rustynut

    “Read the Herald Sun at work”, it surprises me that some people actually do that, you can tell they are by looking at their lips moving.

    I picked one up in the Doctors waiting room the other day, it was the only bit of reading material that wasn’t a five year old moth eaten Womans Weekly. I have not actually touched one since around the time the old Herald and Sun were merged decades ago, what a heap of garbage, the old Truth newspaper which dissapeared around the same time had more factual news. I felt unclean, as if my mind had been raped, yuck. I put it down and went back to staring at the electricity meter on the opposite wall.

  7. stephentardrew

    Great one Ross:

    The two articles say it all. government in thrall to a magical debt that will right itself given growth in technology and the economy. Redistribution of wealth and reduction in inequality can be handled over time to keep debt to GDP well within projected limits. These fear mongers just make it up as they go along. Point is they don’t want to contribute and any excuse, including lying and deliberately manipulating scary debt figures, serves the purpose of driving guilt by fallacious association rather than application of the provable facts. Abbott has to blame someone because the Chosen One can never be wrong. My kids could teach him a thing or two.

    They just don’t want to contribute to the future and furthermore they do not want a solution because fear is their modus operandi. The idea is to chop of every pathway to a solution in which they are responsible actors and contributors to the future. The ends justify the means and the means is profit for profits sake. All they want to do is blame citizens for their rampant greed through double speak, lies and concocted misinformation.

    The wealthy have turned out to be the useless job creators we knew they were. As long as they make a profit, can offshore labour and exploit the poor of another country nothing will change. They don’t give a shit how many of us are in work.

    Meanwhile they will just keep pissing into the wind while blaming us or the blow back.

  8. Ricardo29

    Thanks for the article. I also appreciate the comments today… well everyday really.

  9. CMMC

    Is this supposed to be like ‘Dallas’, the TV show where the plot got tangled up and someone was brought back from the dead?

    ‘It was all just a dream’, they were told.

  10. Harquebus

    I do not believe the results of the polls. They are too easily manipulated and Rupert wants his man in the top job.
    There is not one person I know who likes Tony Abbott. That is a 100% disapproval.

  11. guest

    Abbott told an interviewer that if the Coalition had been able to achieve all the aims of the last budget Oz would have benefited for a generation.

    Can anyone show how that would be true?.

    Isn’t such a claim just a lot of waffle?

    Or is Abbott in denial that the budget has failed and still believes the budget was brilliantly designed?

  12. Jeffrey

    funny how a percentage of those 1,400 people polled said they believed Abbott was changing so with this small % the entire Party turned around and said our polls are improving so we’ll stick with Abbott.

    Sorry, but a lousy % of ONE POLL isn’t any indication that people still want Abbott as leader! It’s been consistent for a year now that Abbott is not PM material and the majority of voters want him gone. He’s a bully that has all his front and back benchers too jelly-legged to keep standing up to him because he made Ruddock an example! They fear revenge and that’s the hold Abbott has over them..

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