July 08, 2010 | Graham

Has Gillard made room for Turnbull?

The Gillard Prime Ministership seems to be in trouble, at least judging from the comments threads on some MSM articles. Whatever possessed her to announce that East Timor was going to be part of her refugee solution without even talking to the appropriate members of their government? It’s an announcement that makes our government look amateur and obsessed by spinning for the news cycle. It’s also condescending to our near neighbours.

Electors have seen the ploy of changing leaders used once too often by Labor at the state level, and seeing it played out at a federal level reminds them of just how tarnished the Labor brand is in every state. Now they are starting to suspect federal Labor is state Labor, just projected on a large screen.

As noted in our polling support for Gillard is soft and the honeymoon bounce muted. Perhaps the only two factors holding her up is that she is not Kevin Rudd and she is not Tony Abbott. Perhaps these factors will be enough for her to win the next election, and perhaps not.

A third person she is not is Malcolm Turnbull. One of the intrinsic problems that Malcolm Turnbull had when he was Liberal leader was that the middle ground liked him, but they weren’t going to vote for him because they liked Kevin Rudd even more. As a result the Liberals had to run to the right hard enough to pick-up working class conservatives, and Tony Abbott was the leader capable of doing that.

But with the spectacular collapse of Rudd, and the growing suspicion that Gillard is little different, Labor now leaves room on both flanks, providing the Liberals with more options. If Abbott fails at this election, and the odds favour this, then they will face the second term of opposition with two potentially viable leaders.

This is not necessarily a benefit. Having two viable leaders, particularly two like Abbott and Turnbull, as often as not leads to instability, or disunity. Still, better to have options, than none at all.

Posted by Graham at 2:55 am | Comments (5) |


  1. I seem to remember Bob Brown advising the Greens voters to put their preferences wherever they like.
    That makes sense. We know that the Coalition is no good for the environment. We know that ALP is also no good for the environment – but pretends to be. We might just as well put our preferences in for the more honest party.
    But then there’s the Abbott factor.
    If Malcolm Turnbull should return to glory – then we might have a bit of decision-making to do.

    Comment by Christina Macpherson — July 8, 2010 @ 5:54 am

  2. I do not like the close association of Julia Gillard with the Lowy Institute.All of a sudden we have representives from this body being constantly quoted on the corporate media and our ABC.This only reinforces my perception that both parties are puppets of big business.

    Frank Lowy is on the board of the RBA.Paul Keating put him there in 1995.The RBA is loaded by corporates and they can make decisions on interest rates to favour the big end of town.

    Sarah Murdoch helped Tony Abbott launch his book called “Battlelines”.Just recently before Tony became leader of the Coalition,Ruppert Murdoch called for a meeting.

    Are these powerful corporate interests weighing up which party will be more amienable to their interests?

    The Murdoch or Fairfax press can make or break a party,since the electorate at large are ignorant of many realities.

    The pressure needs to be put on the Coalition on the freedom of the internet since Labor want a Communist China style censorship.

    We need a third political force in this country that does not take corporate donations.

    Christina; A carbon tax will mean poverty for ordinary folk with no effect on the environment.

    Comment by Arjay — July 9, 2010 @ 7:45 am

  3. A problem for Gillard is that she was a member of the ‘gang of four’ that made all the big decisions and as Minister for Education she presided over the school building rorts. According to Rudd, she was also one who counselled him to drop the ETS.

    This East Timor bungle may confirm voter suspicisons that she is no more comptent than Rudd.

    Comment by Leon Bertrand — July 9, 2010 @ 10:26 am

  4. All the lefties have a mild yen for Turmbull.

    Well, why don’t they go & recruit him. It seems that he appeals to the same folk that Ruddy did, so how did he find his way into the liberals. Could it have been a cynical evaluation of where he could become the leader more easily?

    Well we have seen his leadership, & found it very much wanting.

    The libs at present have some chance of attracting my vote, & that of a lot of others like me. They would have no chance with Turnbull as leader.

    Comment by Phil West — July 9, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  5. Yes, Abbott has a chance only with the xenophobic, unsophisticated, unenlightened minority that delights at the very thought of turning refugee boats out to sea. The very minority of people who don’t or can’t seem to fathom the difference between “illegals”, “migrants” and “refugees” and the very same minority of Australians who don’t have respect for facts and statistics about local issues and trends. The rest of us Liberals want no part of Abbott, Howard or Hanson. Come on Hockey, come on Turnbull, take us into the future!

    Comment by sweet chocolate — July 12, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

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