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Cat, meet pigeons: the coming angst for Morrison and Shorten

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21.04.2019

Someone is going to panic. This campaign is 38 days long. By the time Easter came around eight had gone. Now we're in public holiday limbo. By next Monday, when normal service resumes, just 20 days will remain.

The last three weeks are always frenzied. But this campaign brings an extra element. That is the long, long, long run of polls with Labor in front in the lead-up to the election. It's the biggest question in Australian politics: are those votes baked in by now? In other words, are the five weeks of this campaign meaningless?

Illustration: JimPavlidis

Actually, it's a valid question in any campaign. In America, a political scientist named Alan Abramowitz correctly predicted the popular vote winner in each presidential election between 1988 and 2012.

He made his predictions months before election day, based on just three factors, including the economy. In 2016 the media approached him, as usual, for his prognostication. This time, though, he told them not to listen, that his model must be wrong. You've guessed the end. It had predicted victory for Donald Trump.

It's not a bad story, but even though 28 years sounds like a long time, that's only eight elections. And as far as I know Australians haven't yet........

© Canberra Times