We're approximately at the half-way point between Rudd taking over the Labor leadership last December, and a likely November election, and it seems like a good time to take stock of how things are going. On the face of it, pretty darn well. Even after Costello's "big spending...on everyone we in the Coalition like" budget last week, Labor has "surged ahead" (I love the language of the pundits) in the polls, leading the Coalition 18 points on a two-party preferred basis. Things seem pretty rosy for Rudd and Labor right now, as even Howard admits (though he could just be trying to claim the valuable "underdog status", so beloved of Australian pollies in the lead up to an election). Having been burned so badly by the 2004 Federal election, I can't help but remember that the poll results were looking good for Labor back then too, but as this graph (scroll down) shows, Labor's poll performance now is far ahead of where it was three years ago.