As the crow flies

The Advertiser today carries a poll of 558 South Australian voters showing the Coalition leading Labor 45 to 35 per cent on the primary vote and 53 to 47 per cent on two-party preferred. A similar poll a month ago had Labor ahead 51 to 49. Assuming it’s accurate it still marks a 1 per cent swing to Labor on the 2001 election and leaves them at least in the hunt to win Adelaide, Hindmarsh and Makin, though they would be trailing slightly in each case if the swing were uniform. The Poll Bludger will not be surprised if this survey, along with yesterday’s Newspoll, marks the start of a series of results that confound pundits by showing a shift to the Coalition as the public reacts against the media frenzy regarding an incident that means little to anyone who hadn’t made their mind up three years ago. Mark Latham would do well to cease feeding into this by accommodating reporters seeking soundbites to accompany their children overboard stories, thereby associating himself with what an important section of the electorate perceives to be the journalists’ agenda rather than its own. The next time he is served up one of these easy volleys, he would be best served with a statesmanlike pronouncement that the election campaign is of finite duration and it is time to move on.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.