Election not called but Scomo on hustings

IF ever a prime minister was in election mode it is Scott Morrison.

Mr Morrison was at Jimboomba, Beaudesert, Redlands and Brisbane last week, dispersing funds mainly for road projects.

He might not yet have announced the election date but he is showing all signs of being on the hustings as he visits Queensland seats which might help his government hang on to power.

Of course, there is nothing new about phony election campaigns and all sides undertake them when it suits.

Mr Morrison’s campaigning is driven by terrible polling, with supporters fleeing the party as leadership coups are mounted, MPs are caught up in tacky personal issues and ministers decide not to stand again.

His messages to Queensland voters included fear tactics as he argued that the Liberal Party was good for the economy while Labor would bring down the nation.

At times his message became strident as on ABC radio when he accused Labor of setting houses on fire, a hang over from the botched Kevin Rudd home insulation policy.

Since his election in August after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s ham-fisted and destructive attempt to roll former PM Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Morrison appears to have done a pretty good job.

Despite his efforts, he has little time to turn the tide before the election which must be held by May 18.

Political scientist Paul Williams has made some cogent observations about Mr Morrison and how he is going.

He points out that voters are ambivalent about the PM. Perhaps that is because they have not yet got to know him for Morrison has had little time to make his mark.

As the campaign heats up, residents need to shine a torch on Mr Morrison’s promises and indeed that of Labor leader Bill Shorten.

In campaign mode as we have seen over the past week, politicians are tempted to say almost anything.