Walk into a pet shop and the resident galah will be talking about microeconomic reform. So said Paul Keating some 20 years ago as the last Labor government went about some significant policy renovation.
In 2010 the galahs instead seem to be interpreting opinion polls. Recent weeks have been especially trying for us simple souls attempting to work out whether Kevin Rudd is a dead duck.
In January, The Australian reported that Newspolls covering October-December 2009 showed the Rudd government in a landslide winning position with 57 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote. The Morgan poll also said Labor was on 57 per cent. An Essential Research poll in January said Labor was ahead of the Coalition by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.
These figures were essentially what we had been reading for over two years. They indicated a newly-elected government coasting to re-election against an Opposition that couldn’t surpass the mid-40s.