Staggering poll

It’s no wonder Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) candidate Rebekha Sharkie expressed surprise at The Weekend Australian’s Newspoll results for the Federal seat of Mayo.
No political hopeful can afford to go into a campaign with a defeatist attitude, but to go from the position of a rank outsider to attracting an estimated 38% of the primary vote is nothing short of staggering.
Ms Sharkie’s support has come at the expense of all other candidates.
The Greens vote has halved to 7%, Labor has dropped from 21% at the last election  to 9% and support for Mr Briggs has fallen from 54% to 42%.
If those results were repeated on polling day it would complete a staggering turnaround in a safe Liberal seat held by a 12.5% margin.
There are 11 days left in the campaign and things are starting to get serious.
The major Parties have released their attack ads and this time everyone has NXT in their sights.
Both Labor and Liberal are clearly worried.
It is interesting to note that what the polls suggest is happening in Mayo is being replicated in other seats across the State.
The safe Liberal seat of Grey is in danger of falling to the NXT and even the people living in the Labor heartland of Port Adelaide are flirting outrageously with an alternative Party.
The political dynamics of Port Adelaide and Grey are different to Mayo but the common denominator appears to be that voters are dissatisfied with the style of politics offered by both major Parties.
Both quite correctly argue that it’s easy for NXT to be a “third Party” when it doesn’t  have to form government or come up with policies on unpopular issues.
They have consistently attacked Senator Xenophon as a “personality cult” with a Party of unknown and potentially maverick candidates, citing Australia’s brief fling with Queensland businessman Clive Palmer as a warning.
Indeed, a valid point.
Voters might not be familiar with all the NXT policies or their candidates but they like what they have seen of Mr Xenophon over many years and he presents as the anti-politician – even though it’s in his DNA.
He occupies the middle ground and the NXT is not too far left or right to be considered much more than a protest vote.