By Andrew Bolt ~
Turnbull brought Malcolm Fraser’s advancer Vincent Woolcock out of retirement – the husband of anti-Peta Credlin author Niki Savva. As despair sunk in on Saturday night, one cynical wit pointed to the septuagenarian loyalist on stage at the Sofitel Wentworth and remarked: “while the Titanic is sinking, Vince is fluffing the curtains.”
In the 2007 campaign, I was seconded to the tactics team in John Howard’s campaign headquarters, helmed by another Fraser adviser, Darcy Tronson, but also including then Howard staffer Jamie Briggs, Turnbull’s now senior advisers Brad Burke and Tony Parkinson, our London correspondent James Chessell and James Hird spinner Ian Hanke. In my experience, our idea of tactics was collating old newspaper clippings and having a whiteboard on which we wrote which side won the 6pm news bulletins (Darcy still had a whiteboard column for This Day Tonight and one morning wanted a fax number for Jana Wendt).
It’s totally unsurprising to now learn that this crew are still marking that whiteboard under the stewardship of Tony Nutt, who makes Brian Loughnane look like a Silicon Valley start-up founder.
Shouldn’t Savva declare her interest every time she lauds Turnbull and vilifies Abbott?
More from this misfiring campaign. Heath Aston:
Liberals involved in the dismal defence of western Sydney are furious that an “early warning system” of the impending swing to Labor was not activated by party bosses in Canberra…
Liberal Fiona Scott … was told on a number of occasions during the campaign that she was tracking at three to four percentage points ahead of Labor’s Emma Husar [in the bellwether seat of Lindsay] and campaign resources were diverted from there into Macarthur, which, in hindsight, should have been written off as a loss weeks out.
Ms Scott, who had pleaded with party officials without success to make an announcement positive for Nepean Hospital in a bid to blunt Labor’s Medicare scare campaign, was given no warning of the four per cent swing to the ALP in Lindsay.
A senior NSW Liberal said something went “dramatically wrong” with the tracking polls overseen by a small group in the campaign headquarters, led by federal director Tony Nutt.
“When you are getting swings of 10 and 12 per cent [like that in the Liberal-held seat of Macarthur] and you saw nothing coming, there is a problem with the research… You are fighting a campaign in a blindfold,” the Liberal said…
Victorian Liberal state director Michael Kroger … did not deny that state campaigns were kept in the dark on exact numbers.
In fact, the quality of the polling analysis was so terrible that Turnbull never campaigned in the Labor-held seat of Chisholm, thinking it was unwinnable. Yet the Victorian Liberals managed to just snatch a win, helping to save the Turnbull Government.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.