There's much talk about the polling drop in popularity of Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition, and it seems people are suspecting that Labor might scrape in with a hung parliament. (That seems to be as optimistic as people allow themselves to be when it's a matter of whether a first term Federal parliament can lose outright.)
It seems it's far too late for Malcolm to be able to do any of this, but here's my take on matters which clearly could have helped him, if only he would listen to me:
a. the gay marriage plebiscite: polling has shown that a substantial majority favour gay marriage, but quite a majority like the idea of a plebiscite too. And I understand that - regardless of what the young and hip say, it is a big cultural and social change, and those on the "pro" side are being panic merchants about how divisive and worrying campaign material on the "no" side could be. The truth is, the more over-the-top any advertising against it is, the more it is likely to be counterproductive. And the win the "pro" side is likely to get is likely to be emphatic and end any doubt about the wisdom of the government's acting on it. The only stupid thing (and it is stupid) that Malcolm has done is talk about it being a separate plebiscite from an election. He should just have announced it would be at the next election, whenever that would be. Too late now, I guess.
b. polling indicates a banking royal commission would also be popular. It's a peculiar thing, isn't it, that the Coalition gave us two enquiries that I think didn't go over all that well with the public, because they were too obviously politically motivated. Now the one people would accept, and they don't want to give it. It's not likely to happen, but Malcolm would be wise to agree to a banking enquiry of somewhat limited scope.
c. what is going on with tertiary education policy? The disastrous surprise of the 2014 budget is going to hang over your head during an election campaign, and would have to be neutralised early.
d. bite the bullet, Malcolm. A modest carbon tax should be sell-able in the context of record global warmth and climate change skepticism on its last legs, and raise revenue too. Impossible, I know, 'til you clean out the skeptic rubbish in the party; but oddly, for unrelated reasons, it seems the skeptics (Jensen, Bronwyn) are getting the dump anyway. Oh that's right, but countering that you have got the IPA infiltration continuing apace. You need to attack them, to make a positive headway with the public...