August 10, 2004


Mark Latham spent last week attempting some form of FTA-related cleverness. It was very boring, and now people donít like him:

The Howard government has opened up a clear lead in the federal election race, with a new poll showing the Coalition commanding 54 per cent of the vote.

Is the poll accurate? Will Latham alter his strategy? Might the government announce an election? Who cares! Time to go to Malo.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 10, 2004 01:18 PM

We await any hot-sauce related reporting from Malo.

Posted by: DaveACT at August 10, 2004 at 02:21 PM

Hmm, Mexican food...I guess this means there won't be lots of EXPENSIVE WINE involved, for shame.

Posted by: PW at August 10, 2004 at 02:25 PM

I bet it'll be a LONG lunch, though.

Posted by: Donnah at August 10, 2004 at 02:41 PM

If this outfit who have no history of being in opinion polling were right then howard would have called an election already.

you might also ask your self why howard is still campaigning in mainly but not only in government marginal seats. ( Defined in the industry as 5% margin or less).

Posted by: Homer Paxton at August 10, 2004 at 02:51 PM

Tim, grab the fastest car you can and get away! That eatery is on Sunset Boulevard!.

The next line you might hear is Mr. Blair, I'm ready for my close-up uttered by Margo or Miranda. And how do you explain the body in the pool?!?

Get out, man! NOW!

Posted by: Timothy Lang at August 10, 2004 at 03:02 PM

Homer, get a clue.

Elections are won or lost on the number of seats a party holds in the in the lower house, not by the sum of the popular vote. But, you already knew that already right?

This might be difficult to get your head around Homer, but hang in there - As the goal is to win more seats than your rival, do ya reckon the PM is going to spend most of his time campaigning in safe Labor or Liberal seats, or ones where he is a chance of winning and others that are held by a thin margin by the government? It's called using your time more effectively.

You might also have also asked yourself why the PM is spending a fair bit of time (most?) in marginal Labour seats, like he did in WA just recently, where local polling indicates Labour could loose 3 Perth metropolitan seats.

Posted by: Antipodean at August 10, 2004 at 04:00 PM


Don't worry about essaying to enlighten Homer. He does not want to see the truth, only some la-la-land version of reality where the ALP is full of wonderful paragons who care deeply about everyone and the Howard Government is a bunch of evil oppressors worse than the Taleban and Al Queda put together (in fact those organisations are not evil at all in the mind of the lefty- it is all our fault, we made them kill our people through being Western and decadent)

Posted by: Toryhere at August 10, 2004 at 04:12 PM

when is going to be back up and running?

Posted by: gravettfan at August 10, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Glad you're back, Tim. I thought maybe you got drunk, stole a sheep from the Bronx Zoo, got arrested, and ended up on Rykers Island.

200 years ago the British used to ship that type of person to...

Posted by: JDB at August 10, 2004 at 05:10 PM


This Telly poll is actually better than you think. It is done by the bloke who iued to be the brains behind Newspoll. And I wouldn't rule out a poll very soon if I were you.

Posted by: MArgo's First XVIII at August 10, 2004 at 05:11 PM

malo malo malo malo

Posted by: Secret Squirrel at August 10, 2004 at 05:23 PM

Phew, you said "time to go to Malo". I thought you said Margo.

Posted by: slatts at August 10, 2004 at 05:23 PM

that's Latin for

I would rather be,
In an apple tree,
Than a bad boy,
In adversity.

Posted by: Secret Squirrel at August 10, 2004 at 05:25 PM

Homer, shouldn't you be harrassing CurrencyLad over at his blog?

Posted by: Quentin George at August 10, 2004 at 05:41 PM

You better be "hip and happening", Tim. Otherwise you'll be sucking gaspers and downing stubbies on the footpath.

Posted by: David Stratton at August 10, 2004 at 06:47 PM

If you want to read a good blog slip on over to Slatts ( Excellent article but can someone more erudite than I, please explain homer's post (the one at Slatts not the crap he has written above)

Posted by: Bill Posters at August 10, 2004 at 09:45 PM

I thought Tim was the body in the pool.

Posted by: ushie at August 10, 2004 at 10:03 PM

To Paxton, other commentors and excitable media pundits everywhere - the election will be on October 23. John Howard has never contemplated an earlier election but he has still managed to bluff the Labor Party organisational wing into a state of electoral panic for weeks, with its campaigning energy gradually slipping away all the time.

Howard would not go early unless something truly extraordinary happened since he knows that, as each week goes by and Latham is subjected to closer scrutiny, the Latham bubble deflates even more. Increasingly, Latham is exposed as the flakey, erratic and shallow person that he is.

Besides, a whole stack of Government agencies have paid up advertising campaigns scheduled all through September which would have to cease if the Government went into caretaker mode. (No, not me - I'm not cynical!) Just one of the little benefits of incumbency. Noticed how strong Medicare is lately?

As P J Keating once said to John Hewson in the House after being challenged to go to an early election, "... because I'm going to do you slowly, mate"! October 23 is about as late as he can go without crossing over with the US election or its possible fallout or buggering up the approach to Christmas.

Posted by: TFK at August 10, 2004 at 11:46 PM

I have alwys been on an October election.
This Omnithingy poll ha a margin of error of 4.51%.
I have said at leftwing and musically challeneged Chris Sheil blog on why people should take this poll with a bit of scepticism.
The pollbludger apparently thinks a person can move companies and immediately can do the same thing. Neither Neilsen nor Newspoll operated without problems in their early days.

It doesn't happen that way in the real world.
Morgan, Neilsen and Newspoll are all coming out in the next few days. If they confirm this result I will happily eat humble pie.

By the way pay no attention to 'internal party polls' where no mention is made of margin of error as well.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at August 11, 2004 at 12:01 PM

Hey Secret Squirrel, Turn some other screw. this is no time for opera references.

Posted by: Oreb at August 11, 2004 at 12:08 PM

Homer, who are you to talk about what happens or doesn't happen in the real world? Get a clue. Please.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 11, 2004 at 01:56 PM

Not so-good poll - the Fucking Dems have gained ground. I pray for their destruction, and I'm an atheist.

Posted by: Razor at August 11, 2004 at 05:12 PM

Here's the rub Homer.

Sol Lebovic, Founding Managing Director of Newspoll, when asked about Labor's earlier good polling this year said "I still believe that the Howard government hold a strong margin amongst the electorate. The qestion asked in the poll was more to do with how people rated Labor's current performance as opposed to Simon Crean".

He stated to Taliban Tony Jones on Lateline that his belief was based on historical data and that Latham was in his "Honeymoon" stage with the voters and media. Not anymore though.

Maxine McHugh last week on Lateline asked Lindsay Tanner, [Shadow Minister for Finance and Member for Melbourne] "how Labor views it slipping to 50-50 on Two-Party preferred, as it has never looked this good for an incumbent govt. this close to an election?".

It seems the only people complaining about the election not being called early are Labor and their dickhead lefty supporters, because they know the key marginals they need have all but disappeared and the longer Latham has in the public eye prior to the election the more people see him for the fraud he is.

Posted by: scott at August 13, 2004 at 12:45 AM



I think the failure/refusal among most Australian political analysts to understand the electoral cycle is appalling. There are certain times through the life of a government when it can be far behind in the polls and still positioned quite well to win the next election.

And those times can be a lot closer to the calling of an election than most people would suspect.

I direct the attention of any doubters to the NSW State election, where the Coalition (in Opposition) held a substantial and sustained lead, only to go down to the Carr Government, and go down in a damn big way.

Posted by: Grand Old Elephant at August 13, 2004 at 12:02 PM