IF ever a prime minister was in election mode it is Scott Morrison.
Mr Morrison was at Redlands, Brisbane, Jimboomba and Beaudesert last week, dispersing funds mainly for road projects.
He might not yet have announced the election date but he is showing all signs of being on the hustings as he visits Queensland seats which might help his government hang on to power.
Of course, there is nothing new about phony election campaigns and all sides undertake them when it suits.
Mr Morrison’s campaigning is driven by terrible polling, with supporters fleeing the party as leadership coups are mounted, MPs are caught up in tacky personal issues and senior ministers decide not to contest the next election.
His messages to Queensland voters included fear tactics as he argued that the Liberal Party was good for the economy while Labor would bring down the nation.
At times his message became strident as on ABC radio he even accused Labor of setting houses on fire, a hang over from the botched Kevin Rudd home insulation policy.
Since his election as Australia’s 30th prime minister in August after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s ham-fisted and destructive attempt to roll former PM Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Morrison appears to have done a pretty good job.
Despite his efforts, he has little time to turn the tide before the next election which must be held by May 18.
Political scientist Paul Williams has made some cogent observations about Mr Morrison and how he is going.
He points out that voters are somewhat ambivalent about the PM.
Perhaps that is because they have not yet got to know him for Morrison has had little time to make his mark on policy.
Indeed, if he does no more than stem the bleeding for wobbly conservative forces, he has achieved something.
Dr Williams also points out that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is not well liked.
Certainly, if Shorten is passionate about some policy issues, it is hard to see which they might be.
Regardless, as the campaign heats up, residents need to shine a torch on Mr Morrison’s promises and indeed that of Mr Shorten.
In campaign mode as we have seen over the past week, politicians are tempted to say almost anything.