February 23, 2012 | Graham

I guess this means Rudd has more than a third

The only reason that Julia Gillard could be calling a leadership ballot is because her challenger could force one. Which means that Kevin Rudd must have more than a third of the votes because that is what you need to force a spill.

That’s more votes than the Gillard people have been telling us he has. When you combine that with the bullying that has been going on, including claims that Rudd is inflating his numbers, then it tells you that the contest is actually quite close – certainly closer than the Gillard people have been letting on.

But will a Rudd victory lead on to electoral victory?

Probably not – for two reasons.

First Rudd has not changed and that means he is unattractive to the Howard battlers that he suckered into voting for him in 2007.

When you look at Rudd’s polling figures just before he was deposed he was travelling almost as well as he had been at the election. For Rudd that makes it inexplicable that he was dumped, but the averages always hide the true meaning of any sample.

When you look more closely at the polling his support had fallen significantly in Queensland and New South Wales. This was a blue-collar conservative effect, which was confirmed for federal Labor when they lost the Penrith state by-election with anecdotal evidence from booth workers that Rudd was one of the problems.

That’s why he was removed. He had barely won the 2007 election, having a margin of only 8 seats, and the movements in two of Australia’s largest states more than cancelled that out. What’s more his position was starting to run downhill at an accelerating rate.

Why is he unattractive to blue-collars conservatives? Probably because he looks fake. I’ve watched the YouTube video of him being angry and he can’t even do angry well.

Second, the damage from his win will lead to ongoing recriminations within Labor. He won’t be allowed to do his job anymore than he allowed Gillard to do hers.

Interesting that daughter Jessica and wife Therese have been tweeting their support of him and that erstwhile mates like Wayne Swan and Craig Emerson who both go back to the Goss days, have been putting the boot in. This is going to be one willing family fight.

But you’ve got to feel sorry for Anna Bligh. She needs the space to try to establish a message against Campbell Newman. At the moment she is losing, and to win she needs something to change. It’s difficult for that to happen when Rudd and federal Labor are hogging all the oxygen.

Posted by Graham at 12:01 am | Comments (10) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. I hope that Wayne Swan was drunk when he put out that media release last night. I have never heard a more unhinged statement beigng made by someone reasonably senior in a government. Even Michael Costa used to ahve mroe self-restraint than that.

    Also, what the hell is Crean doing? As the only Cabinet member who was in the previous (decidely more grown-up) Hawke/Keating governments, he has clearly gone rogue if he thinks the best thing he can do for Julia Gillard’s leadership is bucket Kevin Rudd, when people are presumably expecting him to have some thoughts about his actual portfolio responsibilties.

    The question now is who will be the first indie to jump ship. My money would be on Wilkie, not least becasue Lib preferences would be very helpful to him in retaining Denison. If that happens, the Slipper may also rediscover his Liberal roots, particularly if he knows the long term super is sewn up.

    Comment by Terry — February 23, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  2. I bet Labor will dump both Rudd and Gillard,then elect Bill Shorten as PM.

    Comment by Ross — February 23, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  3. Does it matter that much how many members each faction can command? It is pretty much a given that Labour is toast come the next election. http://afinetale.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/rudd-awakening.html

    Comment by alex — February 23, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  4. Epiphany.

    I have previously compared the skill set of Julia Gillard with the skill set of Bob Hawke – both are supreme negotiators – both have proven track records facilitating the delivery of vision.

    Bob Hawke was and is well liked by many, and certainly respected by the majority.

    Ask Bob to come out swinging with one of his famous speeches beginning “My fellow Australians.”

    Let Bob tell the Australian people the skills that allowed him to be one of Australia’s longest serving Labor prime ministers. Let him articulate his admiration for the skills demonstrated by the greatest leader Australia has seen since his time as PM – a facilitator – someone who understands that true democracy means listening to arguments, debating, and negotiating the best outcome.

    Let Bob tell Australians what Julia has achieved – negotiating with the Greens and Independents, etc – let Bob articulate the milestones her government has achieved.

    Let Bob remind Australians that he is a larrikin, who speaks with a strong Aussie accent, but that in his day no-one suggested his accent wasn’t appropriate to the job, that he should clean it up and have elocution lessons, so why did Australians not give their first female PM the same courtesy they afforded him, and let her speak in her own voice. Their voice. The voice of the Australian people.

    Let Bob tell Australians that they should be proud to have an educated Australian prime minister, with a double degree, that speaks with their voice, just as he is a Rhodes Scholar, who speaks with their voice.

    Let Bob tell Australians that the Labor Party has always worked for a fair society that rewards productivity, a fair society that shares the countries riches, a fair society that doesn’t penalise the disadvantaged, a fair society that ensures the opportunity for a quality education is accessible to all.

    Let Bob finish by reminding the Australian people that one of the most productive and VISIONARY prime ministers in a generation is sitting in the job right now, and Australia will be a poorer place without her ability to negotiate outcomes acceptable to the Labor Party, the Greens, 3 Independents, and those senior figures in the Liberal Camp who don’t have a voice under Abbot.

    Let Bob conclude by saying that in the next two years, the Australian people will experience the advantages of the policy achievements already implemented under Julia’s leadership. That leadership is not measured in a popularity pageant, but in an objective assessment of the achievements facilitated, negotiated and delivered by that leadership.

    Comment by dan — February 24, 2012 @ 3:38 am

  5. dan there’s nothing like a rusted on Labor supporter who only smells flowers amongst the stench of incompetence,deception and corruption.

    This has to be the lowest ebb of political outcomes in our history and people like you continue to gild the lily.

    Comment by Ross — February 24, 2012 @ 7:45 am

  6. If Labor hand Rudd the leadership, they hand Abbott the next election.

    Think it through. What will be Abbott’s election strategy?

    His most logical ploy will be that Kevin Rudd can’t claim the achievements of Labor under Julia Gillard’s leadership. That any milestones reached in the last two years of this parliament are founded in the work of Julia’s team.

    That Abbott admired and respected Julia Gillard, but that there is no substance to Rudd. That Rudd is plastic and unbelievable. What has he achieved?

    That his biggest achievement is to undermine others. That Rudd had the loyalty of his party until the moment they thought him unsupportable, but that he has shown none of the valued Australian quality of loyalty since.

    That this shows he is not a team player. That he is vengeful.

    That if Rudd’s flagrant personal arrogance results in him tearing apart of his own party, what would he do to the nation.
    That this argument is vindicated by the fact Labor got rid of Rudd despite the inevitable ramifications because he proved himself such an ineffectual leader because he is not a team player.

    That Labor can’t be trusted because they have losers as leaders.

    That alternatively the Liberals play as a team.

    THE ONLY HOPE LABOR HAS OF WINNING THE NEXT ELECTION IS UNDER JULIA GILLARD. It has no hope under Kevin Rudd. He cannot run on a platform of her achievements.

    Comment by dan — February 24, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  7. dan,I think I’ve worked it out.I did not realise that Labor had lost the support of Andrew Wilkie.This gives Rudd a huge bargaining chip.I could not work out why Labor who hate Rudd so much now support him.You are right they will go down more under Rudd than Gillard.

    So Kevin may have decided to threaten his total resignation from Parliament if they don’t support him as the new PM and we immediately go to an election.

    Now Labor need time for the public to forget and maybe forgive a bit.An election right now will see them decimated.So the tactic maybe to limit the damage and give Rudd what he wants in the hope that next year they will suffer less of a defeat.

    To me the most logical solution would be to dump them both and install a fresh honest face that can relate to the people.

    I think Kevin has them over a barrel by threatening to bring on an election now,if they don’t submit.

    Comment by Ross — February 25, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  8. I notice that reporters today questioned Labor on why it took so long to arrive at a decision.

    Consider this scenario.Kevin hints heavily at his options beyond his failure of being PM once again,ie totally resigning from Parliament and forcing an election if he is not elected PM.

    However,Julia likewise in retort,issues a similar edict in which she too totally resigns bringing on an election.What is Caucus to do? Which loser do they back?

    Comment by Ross — February 27, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  9. Except that Julia wouldn’t resign from Parliament, because that’s where she gets her mojo.
    Julia wants to change society for the better, and she always has, ever since she was at school – her life IS parliament. She would never threaten that.

    And if Rudd had suggested that then I think he would have got about 5 votes and been disendorsed at the inevitable election.

    I would be very interested to know what was in the three minute speeches. I bet Julia’s was along the lines that the Labor conflict is with Abbott led Liberals, and that to elect Rudd would give Abbott the amunition I detailed above… Labor has a loser for a leader, he can’t trumpet her achievements, her proven ability as a negotiator, the example she sets for democracy in action, etc.

    Anyway, I’ll be watching the ABC news, 7.30’s analysis, and Q&A with interest.

    Comment by dan — February 27, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  10. Dan
    You forgot the drunken aspects of Hawke. You forget to divulge the depression and staying in bed episodes of Hawke. You forget to remind us about Hawke’s betrayal of his wife and family. You forgot to inform us about the importance of Keating in Hawke’s political life. Hawke was about rhetoric and pious platitudes. Hawke is a yesterday-man. He would have no currency with us to-day. The unions and the ‘faceless men’ (Hawke’s fans) are held in contempt by the present generation of everyday Aussies. Times have changed. Bringing back Hawke is like bringing back Howard with a twist. The greatest problem with Gillard is TRUST. A leader without trust is a dead leader. She eats her own, Dan!! Labor has become a public joke and their antics a comedy. The Queensland Labor defeat will be the precursor to the thumping defeat of the Fed Labor. Meanwhile Shorten is gleefully rubbing his palms in anticipation. Ha ha haaa!! What a comedy!

    Comment by Jolly — March 4, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

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