Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Slip sliding away

“Almost two-thirds of voters in John Howard’s electorate of Bennelong believe he will retain his seat, regardless of the result of polling to the contrary.

“23 per cent believe Mr Howard will win his seat and the Government will win the election. 38% think Mr Howard will win his seat but the Coalition will lose.

“The poll canvassed 800 voters in Bennelong (Howard's electorate). It found the ALP candidate Maxine McKew leading Mr Howard, 53-47, on a two-party basis.” Hope for Howard after all, poll finds

Maxine is a former ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) journalist and highly regarded for her integrity. The problem is the figures are pre-digested and adjusted to reflect the preferential voting system here. We don’t do first past the post! We also don't do straight primary figure polls it seems.

The big negative for the Prime Minister is that median house prices in his own seat are falling and homes are taking longer to sell. Howard is defending a 4% margin which should be relatively comfortable in normal circumstances. Unfortunately for the PM the current economic indices are against him locally as well as nationally.

The last prime minister to lose his seat was Stanley Bruce in 1929, a few years before my time. Prime Ministers have a bit of latitude to bulk up their numbers in redistribution, but Howard let that opportunity slide. I’m thinking hubris might be in play here.

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