Scott Morrison’s miraculous election victory in 2019 still overshadows this campaign.
To begin with, it means that no one is willing to cancel the Prime Minister, even if the poll numbers get worse, the Coalition fails to strike a clear blow on Anthony Albanese and the debate melts on issues and talking points. conducive to work.
But Morrison remains a true believer in his ability to prove the polls wrong … again. The road to victory has become a tightrope, but it’s still there. Liberals believe part of the voted vote is “soft” enough to change over the past week and that undecided ones will stay with the devil they know.
Morrison’s strategy for next week is twofold. First, the campaign will continue to double down on relentlessly negative messages, trying to portray Albanese as weak, inconsistent and out of its depth on the economy and national security.
What is noteworthy is how much more negative the liberal message has become through the campaign. Morrison’s opening salvo was still peppered with post-COVID optimism about Australia’s strong economic position relative to the rest of the world.
Until the end of April, liberal Facebook ads still impacted Australia’s economic recovery and our relatively low unemployment numbers. But historically high inflation figures and a rise in interest rates have dented the government’s ability to rest on its economic management laurels and have given Labor an easy attack in one of the Coalition’s traditionally strong areas.
Since then, the online attack announcements have been uniformly negative, as have Morrison’s messages, as the government seeks to turn voters away from Labor, a tactic that collides with the opposition’s small stone wall.
The second pole of this strategy is a highly focused and slightly hopeful campaign map. This is based on the effervescence of the teal wave in urban venues (where Morrison is too toxic to travel), with losses for liberals limited to one or two at most.
Next, it’s about limiting some of the expected earnings from the job. This week, Morrison was on a defensive base, traveling to Bass, Bennelong, Reid, Robertson and Chisholm, held by the Liberals. He has to hold most of those places. The government is also optimistic that he will retain his dominance in Queensland and that he will not lose ground (albeit this one will not guarantee their victory).
Finally, Morrison needs his “suburban strategy” to make money on Labor territory. He regularly attended Parramatta, which tops the list of goals, as well as Gilmore on the south coast of NSW and Corangamite in Victoria. Other “under the radar” gains could be Lingiari in the Northern Territory, Tasmania’s headquarters in Lyon, and possibly McEwen in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
In the midst of all that seat change, the Coalition could likely cling to power with just 74 seats. Center Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, a former liberal, did so indicated he would have negotiated with the Liberals earlier in the event of a suspension of parliament, while acknowledging that his Mayo constituency had never been a Labor seat.
Bob Katter is Bob Katter. But he went with Tony Abbott in 2010, he’s naturally conservative and would just require a commitment to build the Mother of All Dams somewhere near Mount Isa to get on board.
The path is narrow and uncertain, but there is still a lot. But if Morrison remains prime minister after May 21, it would be a miracle to belittle the 2019 miracle.
Those elections shattered so many assumptions about how governments win, showing that a fledgling prime minister, who barely holds together a bitterly divided and political government, could change things with the force of a campaign.
This time around, Morrison is a largely unsympathetic leader, too unpopular to campaign across much of the country, leading an even more divided and policyless government, grappling with major economic shocks and a major national security failure in the middle of the campaign. .
Perhaps we would attribute a repeated miracle to Morrison’s formidable campaign genius, which seems to essentially boil down to his ability to nail the lines of attack at the right time and sound energetic for the nighttime news.
Perhaps such a victory would be in spite of Morrison, not thanks to him – a reflection of a latent conservatism and a fear hidden too deep in the electorate to be found by pollsters and strategists.
If Morrison wins again, we will no doubt spend another three years trying to figure out how.