Murdoch likes to bring good news to the Liberals when they are down and depress the mood of Labor when they think they are winning. And so it will be on Tuesday when when Labor, 42, down from 45, and Abbott, 34, up from 30, and beating Gillard 41 to 37, will in Tuesday’s Newspoll contradict the current feeling that Craig’s oration, the Swan Budget, the defiant hooker, the economic figures and the Pyne-Abbott dash for the door has done the Tories harm.
The figures will be arrived at by cheating.
This is how it will be done.
Much of the Labor vote will be away on the long weekend and no mobile phones will be rung. Those still home will be the old, the ill, the childless, friendless and mad and they, as always, will favour the Liberals, the Nationals, Family First and the LNP.
And the effect on Labor will be devastating. Gillard’s last shred of hope will go and Rudd be asked to challenge and out of the wash, in a week or two, a new leader will emerge. Crean, perhaps, who will lose; not Carr or Shorten, who could win.
But in fact the poll will be wrong. It will just be the absence from the landline phones of those in caravans, on boats, at Darling Harbour, in 3D movies, in restaurants, at the Film Festival, bushwalking with their children or visiting their mothers in country towns.
O’Shannessy will kmow this, and print the bent figures anyway. Rupert will like that. He lives, and rules, by bent figures.
And what can O’Shannessy do? It’s the figures that will come in. It’s the way of the world. He’s not being dishonest. It’s the way the available vote went that weekend.
And so it goes.