Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Opinion Polls No Comfort For Nelson

At last, the federal opposition has enjoyed a turn around in its fortunes with the latest Newspoll showing an increase of 3 percentage points in its approval rating. Not that it’s all good news, but at this point I’m sure any glimmer of hope would be most welcome. Unfortunately for the Opposition Leader, Dr Brendan Nelson’s own personal approval rating has fallen at the same time as the Opposition Parties rating has increased.

At the same time, the approval rating for the Rudd Labor Government has fallen four points, down to 47%. Of course this still leaves the government in a commanding position, but it is the first substantial fall in popularity to be recorded since the election. It just might be first sign that the shiny new gloss has started to fade.

Of course, there has been a lot of bad news lately, with inflation stubbornly rising, interest rates rising, and both petrol and food prices outstripping inflation. With all this happening, the Government has been telling voters to expect a budget which will constrain spending. So perhaps it’s no surprise that some people are becoming a little uneasy about the new government.

Meanwhile, the opposition is bizarrely clinging to the claim that the inflation threat is being exaggerated by the government, and that budget cuts are unnecessary. It would be tempting to believe that, but the truth is that the Treasury Department was ringing the inflation alarm bells a year ago, and the then government chose to ignore the advice and carry on spending. After all, there was an election to win… except that they lost anyway.

So now, with the waters well and truly muddied to the point where the opposition approval rating is back on the way up, Brendan Nelson still can’t make any headway as leader. It demonstrates once again that Dr. Nelson’s leadership is already finished… He just hasn’t left the chair as yet.

At least he’s not sniffing it.

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