FOR those wanting to use poor polling as more pressure on Julia Gillard to step down as Prime Minister, the latest Newspoll survey delivers yet another crushing confirmation that Labor is headed for a landslide defeat and Tony Abbott has Gillard's number.
The Liberal leader has turned a nine-percentage point deficit against Kevin Rudd as preferred prime minister three years ago into a record 12-point lead over Gillard.
There is no doubt voters prefer both Abbott and Rudd to Gillard.
But the simple truth is that Labor, the Gillard government and Rudd's potential leadership return are beyond polling.
"Beyond polling"; that sounds to us like media-speak for "not a hope in Hades" or "gone-burger". Barring Tony Abbott or some senior Liberal figure doing something incredibly stupid (such as proposing a doubling of Ms Gillard's despised Carbon Tax), Labor is gone for all money. The only question now will be the scope of the loss.
And there's another great line from the writer of this story; the one we've stolen as our heading; here 'tis:
These numbers - a primary vote of 29 per cent and only one in three voters wanting Gillard as prime minister instead of Abbott - and the "media speculation" are symptoms of Labor's ills, not the cause.
The polling is bad because of poor political judgment, flawed implementation of policies and a misreading of the public mood and voters' priorities by both Gillard and Rudd.
Quite so; there is no one over-riding explanation for Labor's fall from electoral grace, and the story in The Australian goes into what it perceives as Labor's failings; a lengthy list!
So just how bad are the latest numbers for Labor? The Telegraph reports from a South Australian perspective:
LABOR would keep only two of its six South Australian seats and be lucky to retain 30 to 35 seats nationally after the election, internal polling of 40 seats has shown.
But most Labor MPs have until now been oblivious to the doomsday prediction because the national report has only been circulated among selected members of Julia Gillard's leadership group.
News Ltd has obtained data from the party's UMR Research report, compiled for the ALP National Secretariat in the past two weeks.
It shows that in South Australia, it would keep only two seats - Kingston, held by Amanda Rishworth, and Port Adelaide, held by Mark Butler.
The result would oust Labor's four other federal MPs in SA - Kate Ellis in Adelaide, Nick Champion in Wakefield, Steve Georganas in Hindmarsh and Tony Zappia in Makin.
We have already blogged that one earlier poll sees Kevin Rudd as the only Labor survivor in Queensland. Now it seems that Labor is facing a similar fate in South Australia; and elsewhere.
It would seem that the "symptoms of Labor's ills" might be about to take a significant turn for the worse.