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November 22, 2007

A Stalwart Ally Looks To Be In Trouble Down Under

He never received the publicity here that Tony Blair did after 9/11 but in many ways, Australia’s John Howard was as strong or even stronger ally to America.

Tomorrow (or today, with the dateline thing) Aussies are going to the polls and it looks like Howard and his Liberal Party are in trouble.

The resurgent centre-left party led by Kevin Rudd would beat Howard's conservative coalition in a landslide by 57 percent to 43 percent, according to a Nielsen poll of more than 2,000 voters for the Sydney Morning Herald.

If these figures were translated into votes in the polling booths, Labor would win an extra 46 parliamentary seats -- 30 more than it needs for victory -- including those of Howard and several of his top ministers.

A Morgan poll of more than 1,600 voters showed Labor with a winning but narrower 54.5 percent of the vote against 45.5 percent for the coalition, while a Galaxy poll gave the government a chance of snatching victory.

The Galaxy survey of 1,200 voters showed Labor with 52 percent against 48 percent for the coalition -- a lead of just four percent where it needs a swing of 4.8 percent to win power.

But Howard's campaign for a fifth term in office received a body blow Friday when several major newspapers endorsed Labor.

Of course, they said the same thing in 2004 but this time there are polls showing that Howard may not even keep his own seat.

I gather Iraq, immigrant assimilation and other post 9/11 issues are playing a part but the simple fact is Howard is going for an unprecedented 5th general election victory and the oppositions cry of “It’s Time” for a change is resonating with the voters.

Of course, it’s never over until it’s over, so keep a good thought for a true friend of America in his hour of need.

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posted by DrewM. at 08:55 PM

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