Thursday, November 15, 2007

Election: Media rollovers

The latest poll shows... nothing. The same as ever, in fact: 54 - 46 in Labor's favour. This from the Herald's AC Nielson, to be published tomorrow. The poll ran directly after Monday's Liberal campaign 'launch', but was mostly finished before Labor's [widely-lauded] Wednesday Launch. So either the polls will move further in Labor's favour, or the figures are solidly entrenched.

And most polls do agree with the 54-46 figure; any movements over the four-and-a-half campaign weeks have been within margins of error. The Australian's Newspoll has been significantly more erratic, and the newspaper has been consequentially quite prickly about it.

The Sky News Channel, meanwhile, conducts its own polls by asking its audience for SMS responses. Either there's a fair bit of stacking going on, or Sky News has an audience that is significantly more right wing than any other - including the Murdoch Australian, whose online polls have substantially favoured Labor in recent weeks. Sky's poll results give pretty much reverse figures to everyone else.

And Sky had to take the biscuit recently. The poll question was: "Do you think the Liberals' spending promises may be inflationary?" - and over 50% thought not! A brave call, and quite contrary to both professional consensus and the current popular tide.

Still, Sky calls on commentators who have a spectrum of views, some of which (viz Herald's Mark West) have proven quite perspicacious.

You wouldn't think 'spectrum' describes the Australian's columnists. That newspaper has been pretty solid on election coverage - three pages per day - and much of that gives reign to opinion pieces. Interestingly enough, most of them have toned their rhetoric right down over the campaign period, as if their jobs were on the line if they didn't reflect the election result. Or at least move in that direction. Which they have, to a fair extent. There are few conservative or rightwing columnists left who are willing to stick their neck out for their views at the moment.

Enter the usual suspects: Miranda Devine (Herald), Janet Albrectsen (sp?) and Piers Akkerman - both Murdochs. Even Gerard Henderson finds himself at a bit of a loose end at the moment, and is starting to resort to 'giving advice' to the putative incoming Labor government.

What would you be as a conservative commentator at the moment? Stuck on a limb with a few remaining loonies? Or recanting?

Choices, choices.

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