May 17, 2006 | Graham

Howard and Gillard preferred leaders.

Septuagenarian Rupert Murdoch graciously shared some advice for sextuagenarian John Howard with the world – go while you’re on top of your game. Advice that Rupert is sure to heed himself. No-one is inexpendable after all!
In fact, as our latest “What the people want” polling shows, according to public opinion John Howard is the best leader the Liberals could have from those available. The polling also has advice for those promoting Bill Shorten – don’t waste your time, at least not at the moment, Julia Gillard is the star. Paul Keating and Peter Costello also take some hits.
At the same time as we polled Australians on the 2006 federal budget we also asked them which potential and possible leaders they preferred for the Liberal and Labor Parties. We had a left-leaning sample, so Howard didn’t fare too well across the sample, but with 72% of Liberal voters supporting him, he’s fulfilling one half of his leadership mantra – his party still wants him! The only surprise in the Liberal leadership stakes is how well Malcolm Turnbull is doing – better than Peter Costello.
We also put Tony Abbott and Alexander Downer in the questionnaire, but they failed to score above the background radiation. In fact, 0% of Liberal voters supported Downer.
In the Labor leadership poll things were sad for Kim Beazley. The stand-out choice for Labor leader was Julia Gillard – 35% across the sample and 38% amongst Labor voters. Next came Kevin Rudd, Paul Keating, “none of the above”, and only then, Kim Beazley on 10%. A more sophisticated look at these figures shows things a little worse for Kevin Rudd than at first glance – Labor voters prefer Paul Keating to him by 5 percentage votes. And also better, It’s his Tory supporters who put him second, and in fact they prefer him to Gillard. Rudd might be the best bet if you are trying to win new voters rather than consolidate old ones.
So, while Howard sails along, unassailed, things are woeful on the Labor side. Popular choice Gillard doesn’t have the factional muscle to be seriously in the running, while out of the next two most viable candidate, one of them Paul Keating, isn’t even in the Parliament, and retains the active disdain of roughly half the electorate. Added to that, political acument is in such drought that some think draughting Bill Shorten, with 5% support (6% of Labor voters), is a winning strategy.
No wonder Bush is happy to be photographed with Howard – he’s hoping some of Howard’s standing and luck will rub-off on the Republicans and him in the mid-term elections.

Posted by Graham at 4:14 pm | Comments (1) |
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1 Comment

  1. While I dream about Peter Garrett and Paul Keating and Julia Gillard would be ok but will never get up being factionally deficient. I think the most realistic and acceptable choice to me for ALP leader is Lindsay Tanner, I think he comes across better than Rudd who is like a clammy wet fish in person. I also think he could get up being a compromise between deadlocked Gillard and Rudd factions, a unifying bloke.
    That said Rudd is vastly preferred to Beazley and is probably the most likely to win an election after the populist in training Gillard (who can’t get up).

    Comment by Benno — May 17, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

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