Contributed by Joe Montero
Polls are saying that Scott Morrison and his government are losing some of their support base. Not that they have ever been all that popular. It’s just that most people see no alternative to the Coalition or Labor.
The numbers tend to go to whoever is disliked the least at the time.
The Prime ministers present slide remains a headache for him. Polls show that Labor might just be able to squeak in at the next election. The present lead is between 1 and 4 percent.
Interestingly, it is Murdoch’s The Australian and the other media in his stable that are spruiking the higher figure. Could it be that Murdoch is pulling support away from Scott Morrison and actively undermining him? It is too early to be definitive about this. Playing off rivals for advantage is part of Murdoch’s history, and it must be considered a possibility in this case.
Murdoch support will ultimately depend on whether promoting Scott Morrison to his advantage. If the answer is no, Scotty will soon be looking for another job.
Labor’s strategy to date has been to lay low. This is risky. The strategy is tied to getting good of media in Australia, and it means staying on the good side of Murdoch. After all, he does own most of it.
Labor could benefit from a Murdoch shift.
There is no guarantee that this will happen. It could just be that Morrison is leveraging for more from Morrison or working to replace him as the leader of the Liberal Party. We know that tensions within and with their National Party partners that are becoming more pronounced.
Polls are suggesting that against Morrison his abysmal handling of the new Covid wave and the vaccination rollout. There is dismay over the disastrous rollback of carbon emissions policy in a section of the Australian community.
The average person in the street is firstly worried about their and their family’s economic security. The pandemic has increased the worry. This person wants enough to have a home, food on the table, a halfway decent life, and a future for their kids.
The Morrison government has played a big part in bringing this about. It is a no brainer. There should be a landslide for the opposition. There isn’t and we must all acknowledge this and work to find answers.
Labor faces convincing the nation that it has answers. Attacks on Scott Morrison’s performance are not enough on their own.
The good media pitch aims to win over the fidgety part of the Coalition’s political base in the marginal seats. Is putting all the eggs in this basket wise? The danger is that Labor might alienate part of its own political base, which has already been becoming increasingly cynical.
Yet it remains, Labor is the only possible alternative government today, and its victory over the Coalition is important. This would send a clear message that Australia is no longer prepared to stay on the same road.
This alone, is a good enough reason on its own to support a Labor victory.
How does Australia get off the Coalition road? Change must involve millions in a conscious campaign to bring it about. Achieving this involves building grass roots organisation for change. Organisation that also involves the Greens and other groups seeking a similar goal. This is what will ensure a Labor victory, and it will add pressure for a new government to deliver on promises. This is not a bad thing.
Most partly activists know that the absence of such a visible movement is a serious weakness. Many party loyalists remain reluctant to talk about this in public.
Failure to face the reality of the need to build a movement will play into Scott Morrison’s hands.