John Howard, facing * defeat

You shouldn’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched, but you can definitely count your Google hits before election day.

We’re having what we’ve called an “election party/wake” next Saturday, but if the consistency of the polls over the last twelve months (and more recently) is anything to go by, there’ll be more chardonnay than tears at the Waugh household.

Howard and Costello

Here are some of the most popular adjectives used to describe what John Howard and the Liberal Party are facing on Saturday, linked to the search results that mention them (check my guide to Australian politics for Americans if you’re wondering why we’re toasting a “Liberal” defeat).

Regardless of all the polls, betting odds, embarrassing campaign screw-ups, flagging morale of conservative opinion writers and radio jocks, or nerdy enthusiasm of the progressive number-crunchers: Labor still has a fight on its hands.

It’s the last week of the campaign — when anything can happen — and the electoral statistics are no better now than when they were described as “impossible” six months ago.

Maybe I’ll wear black shoes, just in case.

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