Peter Hartcher :
Kevin Rudd’s polling numbers were no worse than John Howard’s had been at the same point in the electoral cycle on several occasions before he went on to win.
Howard managed to rally his party, campaign and win. Rudd has not been given the same opportunity.
Rudd’s poll support fell brutally in April and May, but had stabilised. Two polls this week, a Newspoll and an Essential Media survey, put Labor ahead by 52 per cent to 48 on the election-deciding two-party share of the vote.
As the former national secretary of the Labor Party, Bob McMullan, told a caucus meeting on Tuesday, no government sitting on these polls numbers this close to an election had lost.
And no opposition leader as unpopular as Tony Abbott at this point in the cycle had gone on to win.