(by Ray Dixon – not a blue-tie-wearing misogynist)
This week (or next) could finally see some real excitement and fireworks return to Federal politics as Parliament resumes for its final two-week sitting before the election. Kevin Rudd has been out in various electorates conducting a high-profile and barely disguised campaign as ‘Prime-Minister-in waiting’ in recent weeks and it’s blatantly obvious he wants the job back and would take it in a heartbeat as long as it was handed to him on a platter. Gillard may be saying she won’t step down but the latest opinion polls couldn’t come at a worse time for her:
The poll coincides with the final sittings of the 43rd Parliament and shows that at 29 per cent, Labor’s primary support has slipped below the 30 per cent barrier for only the second time this year. With the Coalition attracting 47 per cent of first-preference votes, Labor trails by a staggering 18 points on primary votes, putting the overall two party-preferred vote at 43-57 in favour of the Coalition
… But the poll also shows that with Kevin Rudd in charge, almost the entire advantage to the Coalition would be wiped out, taking Labor’s primary vote up to 40 per cent, the Coalition’s down to 42 per cent, and the two party-preferred split to a dead-heat 50-50.
It seems like a matter of “when” and “how” the deed will be done, not “if”. A return to Rudd seems very much on the cards, if only to avoid the total wipeout that Gillard is surely steering the party towards:
But while the results will send shockwaves through an already dispirited ALP, (Neilson pollster) Mr Stirton warned against reading a snapshot of voter sentiment as a reliable forecast.
“With Kevin Rudd as leader the best case for Labor is a possible hung Parliament,” he said. ”This assumes a perfectly smooth transition from Gillard to Rudd, a supportive party united behind Mr Rudd and a honeymoon that continues to election day.”
This he called ”a magical scenario”.
”More realistically, Mr Rudd would probably retain more seats than Ms Gillard but he would be unlikely to retain government on these numbers,” Mr Stirton said.
So, the only real question to be answered is who exactly in the ALP will lead the move against Gillard? Who will go to her office in the middle of the night (like she did to Rudd 3 years ago) and deliver the message:
“Julia, you don’t have the numbers, chicky-babe – it’s time to go.”
But has Bill got any balls?
I don’t know. I don’t even know if it will happen but, for the sake of having a real contest instead of a bloody walkover, I sincerely hope that the ALP finally bites the bullet and corrects the wrong of June 2010 when they stupidly ousted the most popular PM since Bob Hawke in his heyday. Otherwise, Tony Abbott will just waltz into office without hardly having to commit to a policy and that can’t be good for the country.
If the coalition are to be returned – and that’s still likely even if Rudd replaces Gillard – then at least having to fight Rudd for the title might force them to come up with something better than a promise to repeal the carbon tax. Let’s face it, what else are they proposing? Oh, that’s right a cheaper and inferior NBN.
Bring it on – it’s been a dull year so far.