By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director

Today’s revelation that the Coalition now trails Labor on a two party preferred basis may say more about the style of this campaign than anything else.

Modern politics has become a 24/7 media event and at no time is that more so than during an election campaign. The result is that party strategists adopt an approach that minimises the risk of losing, rather than strategising to win – the concern always being that a media gaff might derail their candidate’s campaign.

Unfortunately we, the voters, are invariably the losers in this. The often stilted performance by candidates more concerned to hide their real selves than project them, leaves you and I none the wiser about who they are or what they stand for. It has effectively neutralised leadership and the contending claims on what should be statesmanship, as a major factor in the election, and particularly between the two leaders of the major parties.

Ms Gillard clearly identified at the end of last week that this approach was taking her nowhere and it was reflected in the polls that put the Coalition ahead. The press at the time was full of: “Who is the real Julia?” However she is widely reported as having decided to put her minders advice aside and run on her intuition.

This has clearly paid dividends and it is now only to be hoped that, in the interests of giving us real choice, Tony Abbott will do the same.

Julia Gillard is well known for her charm and warmth by those close to her, but equally anyone who knows Tony Abbott knows that he has the refreshingly attractive quality for voters of exuding “what you see is what you get.” For Christians of course there is the added attraction of a strong Catholic faith.

If he too decides that coming off the ropes in the last round means its more up to him and his intuition than the advice of minders, we could yet have the close election we were promised.