Driving through the electorate of Wentworth last night, I stopped and took an image of our Mal on a telegraph pole. Unfortunately it doesn't do him justice but if you go to his website you'll find him relaxing at Bronte Beach. Centrebet has him favourite at $1.55.
I quizzed a few drivers at the cabwash last night regarding talk in their cabs. The consensus had a Howard win coupled with general disinterest, reported by a couple of Premier drivers, out in the Parramatta district. I intend to conduct further driver quizzes over future CABPOLLs. Heard a radio interview with the manager of Centrebet who reported someone had plonked $200,000 on the Coalition, firming their odds to $1.28 and easing Labor out to $3.30.
In the City, a corporate marketing woman around 30 years old, spots me stranded in traffic and jumps in for the Airport. She has recently moved out to a 6 pub town in the Central West of New South Wales and is down here for business. Not only has she pulled off her ‘sea change’, but scored a job in the same game. ! Missing the bush I want to fly with her. Anything to get out of City traffic.
Her first response regarding the election has her disliking the media coverage and journalist’s spin. The economy is what motivates her vote and the need to protect interest rates, for an upcoming mortgage. Health and education are not issues for her as she has no family plans to consider just yet.
Security though is an issue. As is Latham’s personality. When voting, she weighs up a leaders personal characteristics. Her vote is consistent between the Lower and Upper Houses plus she agrees with compulsory voting. On a different note, it snowed outside her town last week. Additionally, the new wheat is planted and the West is hoping for follow-up rain and no frosts.
At the Airport, a Melbourne fella around 40 from the blue ribbon seat of Menzies jumps in for the City. Another marketing character, in telecommunications, with a background in finance and banking. He is of the opinion Latham has done a good job in differentiating Labor this campaign. Especially in the areas of health and childcare. Though he concedes Howard’s carrots have muddied the water.
Due to the Coalitions track record on the economy he’ll be sticking with Howard. He identifies the economy’s inherent strength in recent years, with it’s low interest rates, inflation and unemployment. I ask if it’s not a result of structural changes put in place by Keating. He acknowledges the ‘systemic characteristics’ but credits the Coalition’s sound economic management in consolidating this quality. Using the analogy of a good business management team who enhances an existing model, he cites the reduction of debt as an one example of fiscal discipline. Regarding debt, he doubts Labor would have the same success.
He also votes the same in the House of Reps as the Senate. As a side issue, he volunteers his admiration for the work of Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who he considers underrated.
Back in town, a middle-aged business woman hops in for Gladesville, up the river in the seat of Bennelong. The election for her is simply a case of, ‘If it ain’t broke why fix it ?’. Though she would like to give Latham a, ‘90 day trial just to see if he can do what he’s promising’. Then states all politicans will say whatever it takes to get into Government.
She confirms Howard, her local member, has an important support base amongst the retired and elderly. However she is certain he will hand over to Costello, early in the first term. So am I, as it’s their only chance of having a show at the following election, in ‘07. Given they win this one, of course...