Been here at Lake MacQuarie a couple of days now and on Thursday I will be in the Liberal marginal seat of Paterson looking at the Liberal Party campaign machine. Apart from that seat the area around Newcastle where I am is solid red Labor territory.
Three observations. The first is that both Labor and the Liberals are making extensive use of 'attack' ads directed at Abbot and Gillard respectively. That is a little surprising to me as conventional wisdom has it that attack ads can turn into a negative for the Party using them.
The second relates to the saturation Labour Party radio and TV advertising here is a (supposedly) safe Labor area. I mean no-one is suggesting that the Liberals are in with a realistic chance in Newcastle, Charlestown, Hunter or Charlton yet we are being bombarded with Labor Party ads. Put the question and the answer straight back from my brother-in-law (who is a swinging voter) is that the State Labor Government is so unpopular that Federal Labor has been forced to divert resources into shoring up what should be theirs in spades.
Gillard got it right is delaying her campaign launch until yesterday. That gave her huge publicity (and momentum) at the start of 'finals' week. That momentum could stall if Abbot does well in the economic debate/town hall debate scheduled for tomorrow night. It is generally agreed that Abbot bested Gillard in the (quaintly named) Rooty Hill debate last week.
Still picking Gillard but 5 days is a long time in politics.
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