Voters come down to dollars and sense

The Coalition government has been on a steady downhill run since its landslide defeat of Labor in 2013. Since Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull as leader, they?ve gone on a roller-coaster: every bounce was quickly followed by a dip. So treating the latest poll rise as a game-changer is certainly a bit premature. But it does raise the question of whether Shorten?s shift is finally starting to show. Quote:

The Coalition has moved to within striking distance of Labor with a surge in support following last week?s budget, giving Scott Morrison momentum as he prepares to call a May election.

An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows the Coalition?s primary vote has ?jumped ahead of Labor?s for the first time since Mr Morrison ?became Prime Minister.

On a two-party-preferred basis, Bill Shorten?s opposition still holds an election-winning lead, 52 to 48 points, but the Coalition has engineered a four-point turnaround since last month. End of quote.

The latest bounce seems to have come courtesy of the recent budget. Economic management is the Coalition?s bedrock. More importantly, after more than a decade of budget deficits, returning to surplus is an important symbolic win. Quote:

The poll also found voters ranked Treasurer Josh Frydenberg?s budget as the best in a ?decade and the most likely to ?deliver an improvement to their personal financial circumstances since the 2007 Howard government?s cash splash on pensioners and families.

With the budget promising $302 billion in personal income tax cuts and forecasting a return to surplus next year, the number of people who rated it as ?extremely good? was the highest since Newspoll started tracking the question in 1999. End of quote.

Left: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, as he looked the last time Labor delivered a surplus.

As Frydenberg jibed, the last time Labor delivered a surplus, he had a mullet. The former Labor treasurer became a laughing-stock for his repeated, failed promises of an imminent return to surplus. The Howard government is increasingly regarded, rightly or wrongly, as a halcyon era of solid economic management characterised by a string of surpluses. Frydenberg?s promised surplus is stirring voters? memories. Quote:

The Prime Minister?s approval ratings also reached the highest levels of the year, a boost only days before he is expected to call the election, most likely for May 18.

The poll found the Coalition has lifted its primary vote from 36 to 38 percentage points, while Labor has fallen from 39 to 37. One Nation also dropped a point?In signs of concern for Labor, the party?s primary vote is the party?s worst result since July last year. End of quote.


Labor had a shock loss in Australia?s largest state last month, contrary to the media-elite?s smug assumption that Gladys Berejiklian was toast. No small part of that was a judgement on the Labor leader, Michael Daley. Shifty Shorten is a fundamentally-disliked leader with more skeletons rattling in his closet than Daley?s bone-headed anti-Asian comments.

Labor?s policies, from franking credits to electric cars, are being hammered, as is the perception that Labor are still addicted to the profligacy and green-left dogmatism that characterised the Gillard government. The Coalition, meanwhile, have borne the brunt of voters? fury over revolving-door leadership. It remains to be seen whether voters are ready to forgive and once again vote on economic management.