But thatâ€™s not quite correct, on November 7th James Campbell at the nationâ€™s most popular newspaper the Sunday Herald Sun wrote:
HALFWAY through Friday night’s debate, it dawned on me that Labor has no strategy to win this election.
Despite what you might have read, there is a good chance that Ted Baillieu will be premier in a little over three weeks.
And from Friday night’s display, John Brumby is doing everything he can to help make it happen.
The Coalition’s strategy is simple – make the election a referendum on 11 years of Labor.
Labor’s strategy should be to make it a referendum on whether Baillieu and his buddies are fit and proper people to be trusted with government.
Instead it is engaged in a bizarre and fruitless attempt to make the Premier likeable. Dressing him in an open-neck shirt and filming him in a soft light – like Val Doonican introducing a song on a Christmas special – doesn’t stop Brumby sounding like a geography teacher.
If he were cruising to victory, then staring statesmanlike into the distance and talking about the future might be a good plan.
But he isn’t cruising to victory – he’s fighting for his political life.
For the past year, when he hasn’t been reminding Victorians about what to dislike about Labor, Baillieu has been announcing a lot of locally targeted policies that you won’t have read about or seen on the TV news.
And what most commentators seem to have missed is that the strategy is working. According to Newspoll, in the past year while apparently “doing nothing”, Baillieu has closed the gap to within two percentage points of Labor. According to last month’s Galaxy Poll, the gap is now only 1 per cent.
When you remember that much of Labor’s 51 per cent is wasted in seats with massive majorities, it becomes clear the Coalition could lose the two-party preferred vote and still win the election.
In June those sort of poll numbers cost Kevin Rudd his jobâ€¦
The people spreading stories of political disunity in the Liberal Party have seen how close the polls are and know they face political oblivion. It’s strange the media and some parts of the ALP don’t seem to have noticed.
The former Liberal staffer made the case for why the Liberals task was not as hard as was imagined by some in the commentariat and reported on many Libs thoughts they couldnâ€™t win while insisting that they could.
There is no doubt at all that Campbell picked the result when few others thought such subversive thoughts about the government. Some believe he even had a few quid on the outcome too. Colleagues in his newsroom, some so colourful they devise previously unused descriptive terms like â€œman candyâ€, fear he might be a little unbearable this week. The Richmond fan needs to take his wins when he can.