Now Newspoll says 50/50

Newspoll has reported for the last weekend and says that the Coalition and Labor are neck and neck at 50% each. This is in line with Galaxy, and closer to Nielsen than Morgan. It tends to confirm what the qual is telling us, which is that this election is looking like being quite close.

 

Labor has been trying to use these results to their advantage, but it also seems to have simultaneously thrown them into panic so their wheels are just spinning.

 

Labor needs the election to look close so that they can focus attention on Tony Abbott. The qual says that voters are less comfortable with Abbott than with Gillard, or they were. I'm getting mail now which suggests that she is becoming a laughing stock, and that perception is being intensified by her reaction to the bad polling figures.

This reaction has included Gillard herself declaring that now the "real Julia" will be on the campaign trail. This is an extraordinary statement for a Prime Minister to make. It does more than throw away the "rule book" of Australian elections. Is there a rule book? Where can I buy one? It throws away common sense.

You don't talk about the "real Julia" you demonstrate it and let others do the talking.

One qualification on Newspoll's figures. They allocate preferences in the same proportion that they were allocated last election rather than asking voters how they would allocate them if an election were held now. As a result I suspect they under-estimate Labor's vote because there has been a significant increase in the Greens vote, and it seems to be largely coming from former ALP supporters. It is hard to see these people ever giving a preference to Abbott. Which means Greens preferences should more heavily favour Labor this election than last.

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