New poll shows Coalition closing on Labor; PM’s ‘bulldozer’ pledge ‘doesn’t stack up’, Uhlmann says

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to be less of a “bulldozer” in his next term has attracted a lot of media ink – but according to Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann, it just “doesn’t stack up”.

While Morrison has aimed to strike a new hopeful note in the final week of the election campaign, it stands in stark contrast to the dire warnings and forecasts of his colleagues.

“Don’t forget that (Defence Minister) Peter Dutton is saying we might be heading towards war,” Uhlmann said on Today.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to be ‘less of a bulldozer’ if he wins the election. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

“The prime minister is saying in these happier times that are ahead, I will be less of a bulldozer – he might need to be more of a bulldozer in the years to come because we’re heading into a difficult time.”

Uhlmann said the PM’s pledge to change his leadership style was a “late gear change”.

“It sounds more like a grinding of the gear than the gear change to me, and whether or not people believe it, well, we will find out,” he said.

But, having predicted Morrison would fail in 2019, Uhlmann said he wasn’t prepared to do that again.

And he suggested the new poll in Nine newspapers out today, showing the Coalition creeping closer to Labor, might not reflect the reality of the ballot.

“If you go back to the last election, Labor lost that on a primary vote of 33.3 per cent, which was its lowest primary vote since the Second World War,” he said.

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“It now has a primary vote, according to this poll, of 31 per cent.

“The Liberal Party won that election on a primary vote of 41 per cent. It now has a primary vote of 34 per cent. Neither party can form government from that position.”

Uhlmann said at this point, it looked most likely the election would end in a Labor minority government in a hung parliament.

But he also said he thought the low primary vote levels would increase on polling day.

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