PM wakes up to nightmare news
Has Scott Morrison cried "boats" once too often?
After a week that sent shudders through politics and revived the fears and anger over border protection of a generation ago, nothing happened.
A significant number of voters ignored the Prime Minister or, worse for the government, they didn't believe him.
Mr Morrison shouted himself into a near frenzy claiming Labor policies would wreck our sovereignty and relaunch the people smugglers' boats, and immediately allocated $1.3 billion to reopen the Christmas Island detention centre.
But Labor won popular opinion for the week, according to the Newspoll released today in The Australian.
Newspoll gave Labor superiority over the government 53 per cent to 47 per cent two-party preferred.
It was the third survey in a row with that result, confirming a trend favouring Labor just three months before the election expected in May.
The message for the government is that many voters hadn't heard the Prime Minister.
They were involved in other issues such as the groaningly slow improvement in wages outlined by the Reserve Bank during the week, at a time when household expenses are going up.
Or they might have been unimpressed by the appearance of a cosy mates' circle of Liberals travelling first class thanks to Helloworld, run by the party's treasurer.
The greater danger for the government would be if voters heard Mr Morrison and just didn't believe him. They did not believe his alarm over Labor policy was authentic.
That raises issues of trust.
The Prime Minister's personal standing did not appear to have suffered substantially from the week.
The Newspoll found the disapproval ratings of both Mr Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten increasing slightly. The Prime Minister was marked down by 48 per cent of voters, a three point increase, and Mr Shorten by 53 per cent, up two points.
This week the government will attempt to repair its climate change policy after three years of internal rowdiness over the issue.
And it will steadily proceed towards the April 2 Budget, which it hopes will assure voters that any pain they have suffered over the past six years will produce a healthier economic outlook and a Budget surplus.
A key feature of the week will be he intensity with which Scott Morrison pursues the border protection matters, given the indifference from voters.