Flat White

No wonder ScoMo’s cautious

16 March 2021

4:26 PM

16 March 2021

4:26 PM

“We’ve been on narrow paths before, colleagues, and we’ve walked them together,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the joint Coalition party room meeting this morning. “Sometimes the path is wide and the walking is gentle, but the path is now narrow so we must watch out for each other and we must support each other,” he continued.

The government faces a host of problems at the moment, from the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine to the rollback of JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

The Essential Poll out this morning mirrored the headline two-party preferred vote from yesterday’s Newspoll, showing a swing to Labor.

The real worry for the government, however, will have been in these tables. Look at the rating respondents gave the state premiers for their handling of Covid-19. With the exception of Stumblin’ Dan Andrews, it’s exceptional.

Compare and contrast with the federal figures. They just don’t hit the same heights as the states.

Then there this standalone table. It’s got much less data but you only have to look at two lines; trust in “state or territory government” and trust in “the federal parliament”.

The question is badly worded — “state or territory government” isn’t an apples-with-apples comparison with “the federal parliament”, but look at that clear gap between the two.

By playing a coordinating, rather than a hands-on role, the Morrison government has let the states wear any opprobrium for coronavirus issues — and let them take the glory.

That 91 per cent approval rating for the Western Australian government’s handling of the pandemic, much as SpecOz readers might dislike it, virtually alone explains the size of Mark McGowan’s victory last Saturday.

Put simply, handling of the coronavirus crisis hasn’t given the Prime Minister the same boost as it’s given state and territory leaders, even though he and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg — along with Health Minister Greg Hunt — have done the most significant work.

Combined with everything else,  no wonder Scott Morrison is warning “the path is now narrow”.

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