Ariontheweb, however, stands by the five reasons against an Aug 7 poll. Briefly a response to Hillary's comments, and then a couple of extra reasons against that poll date, thrown in for good measure.
On the issue of Howard challenging Latham's character, Hillary misses the point by saying that Latham won't blink. Latham can stand firm as much as he likes, people will have their doubts about him when some of his past quotes and deeds are used against him. This stuff will take time, though, to become etched in voters minds.
Hillary argues that there is nothing stopping a massive gap being created over time between Senate elections and the taking up of office. Hillary should check out Section 13 of the Federal Constitution, a fine bit of bedtime reading, recommended to insomniacs.
S.13 reads, in reference to Senate elections:
The election to fill vacant places shall be made within one year before the places are to become vacant.
Therefore, if Howard goes for August this year, and Latham/Costello want to go early in 2007, it would be House of Reps only and a stand-alone half-Senate election would be needed between 1/7/07 and 30/6/08. Everyone got their diary out?
And now a few more reasons for Howard to sta-a-a-a-y, just a little bit longer....
6. The latest Newspoll shows the ALP in the lead on 2 party preferred, 52-48, and the crucial part is that the Liberal/National vote is trending upward. (Take out the complete abberation that was the previous Newspoll, 28-30 May). It is not a scenario where Howard needs to get in quickly before his vote collapses - the vote is heading in the right direction, it just needs a couple of months to get there.
7. Iraq will take a while after sovereignty before things start looking up. Five weeks after it, things are still likely to be rather shakey. Three months, however, and the house will be slowly getting itself in order.
8. Tobacco and alcohol excise increases are the first of February and first of August each year. An extra couple of cents on beer and smokes - it's enough to make a man quit... or vote for Latham at least.
So there you have it - it aint gonna be August. Try again in October.