Yesterday, Tigtog discussed polls which showed that there had been little movement since the election. Today’s Newspoll might or might not be an exception to that trend, showing Labor with a record primary low of 33% and a two party preferred advantage of 52-48 to the Coalition. [Details are at The Poll Bludger.]
Peter Brent at Mumble parses the talking point du jour – the claim that the Gillard government is the first not to enjoy something of a surge in support after re-election. As he writes, the evidence for that assertion is dicey, anyway, and I’d add that there’s a sense in which the result was an artefact of post-election maneouvring rather than the raw popular vote. If the 2010 election proved anything, it should have proved that reflexive inferences from past political history now tell us little. Anyway, Brent observes:
But it’s the ‘winner’ who receives a bounce. Who ‘won’ the August election?
The independents and Greens are enjoying some of the spoils of victory.
Possum has more on the historical comparisons in this post.
My bet would be that what is going on, if there’s anything much going on, is summed up here:
It usually takes three months or so for the public to start paying political attention again after an election, snapping the dynamics back to their usual spectrum of behaviour.
So we’ll kick back into gear on the polling side maybe the next polling cycle or so – but we shouldn’t be surprised if it’s not until next year that the polling dynamics go back to normal.
There was also a poll in the field over the last few weeks that should hopefully be published somewhere soon, which suggested that much fewer people are paying attention to Federal politics at the moment than they were at this same point after the last three elections.
I’m sure that the public had a surfeit of political drama from about the time that Kevin Rudd’s hold on the leadership started looking really shaky through the several months of the election and its inconclusive outcome. If that’s right, it raises the question of whether Tony Abbott’s highly partisan style best fits these times. However, that might be reading too much into the political tea leaves, which perhaps ought to be left alone if very few people are actually paying any attention whatever to the political game right now.