Prime Minister All Set To Lead His Government To An Utterly Devastating Defeat
John Howard wasn't just testing out some new way of portraying himself as being ultra-humble when he said the Coalition faces "annihilation" at the November federal elections. He was stating as a fact what his own party's extensive 'private' polling has been telling him for months.
And now Howard's own Annihilation Election scenario is confirmed by the latest Newspoll :
In a dramatic turnaround in what people think will happen -- as opposed to a snapshot of how they think they will vote -- 57 per cent of voters say Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd will win later this year.
Before the last election -- despite final polls showing Labor was a 50-50 chance -- voters predicted the Coalition would win overwhelmingly. The latest Newspoll survey, taken exclusively for The Weekend Australian this week, shows that only 30 per cent of voters believe the Coalition will win this year's election.
This week, the positive rating for the ALP jumped almost 30 points and the Coalition's fell 16 points. Even 39 per cent of Coalition supporters surveyed said they thought Labor would win the next election.
The Prime Minister warned MPs and voters that the current support for the ALP would sweep the Government away and "change the country".
The numbers are stunning. Not only is Howard and his government vastly unpopular, they continue to plunge further into the abyss with each passing month. When questioned on what they think the Coalition's chances are of being re-elected, a massive majority of the public are giving Howard & Co. the double thumbs down.
But here's the cruncher for Howard : most Australians say they are going to vote for Kevin Rudd, and most say that he will win. When that sort of double momentum kicks in an Australian election, it's almost impossible to turn it all around :
...people vote the way they think the election is going to go rather than how they say they are going to vote.The raw panic flooding through the senior ranks of the government was evident last week in the words and behaviour of the federal health minister, Tony Abbott, when he made a bizarre and very clear threat to the Australian public that they face "consequences...dire consequences" if they dared to vote against the government :
"I don't believe that they have stopped listening to us because we have been a fundamentally good government. The risk is that we might sleepwalk into changing the government in a fit of absent-mindedness, almost, if we the Government don't let people know that your vote, come the end of the year, does have consequences, potentially dire consequences."Abbott likes the "consequences...dire consequences" threat so much he used it three times in that interview.
Looks like Howard & Co. have dispensed with their planned Fear And Smear campaign of the opposition, and shifted straight into threatening the Australian public.
Perhaps that could be their election campaign signature : "If You Don't Vote For Us, You Will Face The Consequences. Dire Consequences."
It's hard to imagine that there's anything now that the government can do to win back the public support they need to scoop the coming election. They've worn out The Fear of immigrants, terrorism and enviromentalists, and the public clearly believe that John Howard, in particular, can't be trusted to tell the truth on the most important issues of the day. He didn't tell the truth about climate change, the AWB scandal, the Iraq War and the Children Overboard obscenity, why would he start telling us the truth now?
There will be no victory in Iraq before the election, and we'll be damn lucky if we don't have to face the horror of casualties, interest rates are likely to rise again, particularly if the US dollar continues its downward spiral and China's stock market hammeraoges, and if Australia is hit by a terror attack just before polls, the public would probably blame the disastrous 'War on Terror' as having made this country a more likely target.
Shocking water shortages, vastly more expensive food and massive electricity price increases are already a reality for late 2007 and 2008, and it will be easy for Labor to blame John Howard's complete ignorance of the rapidly changing climate in recent years for all of those woes. Most of the public already do.
On top of all that, the Howard induced changes to the working lives of most Australians, through his IR reforms, are about as popular as a kick in the nuts, and they are unlikely to find favour with the majority of Australians before the election rolls around.
Even when Howard attempts to show his climate change credentials, by planning to burn off another $20 to $50 million on an advertising campaign, he is met with howls of outrage and indignation, even from media that will benefit financially from such advertising splurges. The public hates Howard blowing taxpayer dollars like this, he's blown $1.7 billion in this way since 1996, and that is opinion is not going to change either. It's only going to grow more negative.
Howard has nothing on the horizon that he can use to beat back Labor, or to ramp up his popularity, as he himself admitted when he said he has "no rabbits" left to pull out of his hat.
It won't be smooth sailing for Labor on its way to winning the election, but the usual grubby dirt and smear campaigns from the Liberal sewer crews will only make Howard and his government even more unpopular. The Australian public are sick of such behaviour. If Howard & Co. want to win they will have to be positive, flawless and heart-warmingly inspirational. Three things they have trouble pulling off when elections are not just around the corner.
Howard is now on his way to becoming one of the most unpopular prime ministers in decades, and his coalition government looks set to be torn to shreds at the election. Whoever comes up with a way, a vision, a campaign, that will get Howard & Co. re-elected will be making history.
During the election campaign, you will see grown men weep in horror on TV, but most of them will be the same politicians who have spent the past ten years smirking with contempt, so it won't be too painful to watch.
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