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A magical scenario?

(by Ray Dixon – not a blue-tie-wearing misogynist)

Krudd-10This 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.”

Bill Shorten?

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.


  1. Iain Hall says:

    Quite naturally I am hoping and expecting that Labor will stick with Gillard. I just can not see any change in their leadership going at all smoothly, what with high profile Ministers and MPs saying that they won’t work with Rudd and the shakiness of the independents. I think that were there to be a change that the government would fall into a nasty screaming heap. Too many things have to go right for Rudd to even be in with a chance of making a good showing and saving some marginal seats.

    Labor tried the last minute leadership change in NSW and even with a Bonza Sheila like Kristina Keneally as leader they still got thoroughly trashed so don’t kid your self that a re-treaded Rudd would save that much furniture.

    I don’t even think that Rudd even rates his chances very highly because I think that he is going for a glorious “could have been” status which will be in jeopardy should he actually con his colleges into voting for him in a leadership poll.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    We shall see, Iain.

  3. deknarf says:

    Hmmm? Why do I get the strange feeling that the NO Coalition would prefer to go to the election with Rudd at the helm? Why do I get weird twinges that the msm is pushing like crazy to push Rudd to the PM position before September? Why do I get the strange feeling that the polls can be likened to the one’s in the US where all the predictions were for a Republican victory, and it was nothing of the sort!

    I’m leaning towards agreeing with Iain (but not for the same reasons) that Gillard might be the best chance Labor has! Despite my initial liking of Rudd, I’m now more sceptical of his capabilities, and really do not think that he is Labor’s miracle cure.

    We’ll know sometime on September 14

  4. Tony says:

    Just watched her, in a news conference on news24.
    Boy, she was pretty arrogant, when asked the inevitable questions ?
    We all know, how the Australian voting public love perceived arrogance don’t we ?

  5. Iain Hall says:

    She has just never learnt that politics is really about the fine art of persuasion, with Gillard its always the case that she talks at people never too them.
    Rudd is slightly better at the persuasion but he is worse at the Machiavellian stuff within the party. For this conservative its like choosing between having cancer or rabies…

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    its like choosing between having cancer or rabies…

    Yes, that’s the choice you presently have, Iain. The one between Gillard & Abbott.

    As for Rudd, I agree that he’s far “worse” at applying Machiavellian principles than Gillard is. In fact he’s not into that style at all. But Gillard is. After all, she’s the one who plotted against him and stabbed him in the back. And twice since, she’s used those same principles to derail his comeback, even though it cost the party plenty. She’s a plotter and a schemer, and she’s all about self interest, self promotion and self preservation, whereas Rudd is a populist and a ‘can do’ person who relies on his charisma, intellect and brains. He’s no party manipulator or suckhole. I just hope he ‘can do’ it all again.

  7. Tony says:

    I don’t know about derailing a come back. He hasn’t said either way yet. But as she runs around trying to convince herself, that there will be no challenge (no one else believes that, and more importantly for the labor party, neither do they ?), she is giving off all the wrong body language. She should be firm, but concilliatry. Humble, but strong, without appearing arrogant. She is achieving neither.

    I have not agreed with you often Ray, but your last para is pretty spot on.

  8. GD says:

    There is however a fly in the ointment

    Happy now, but come September 14 both will be out of a job.

    Key minister Bill Shorten’s wife has agreed to lead the Women for Gillard group – as Mr Shorten faces pressure to defect to the Kevin Rudd camp.

    Chloe Bryce’s leadership of the new group, set up to campaign for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, would put Mr Shorten in a precarious position if he bowed to public calls for him to support a return to the former prime minister.

    Ms Bryce is also the daughter of Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

    The plot thickens.

    I’m surprised Ray that you didn’t pick up on this as it was published four hours before your last comment. I guess you’re not really ‘ahead of the news’ more than I am.

    Please try and keep up. It’s boring to have to bring you up to speed before commenting. 🙂

  9. Iain Hall says:

    Yes GD that is a very attractive fly if you ask me 😉 and a rather powerful reason for Shorten to go the distance with Gillard, another is that Shorten must see a resurgent Rudd as an impediment to his own leadership ambitions within the ALP because I’m rather sure that he sees himself as the natural next leader of the opposition after the September 14 wipe-out.

  10. GD says:

    Surely the best option for Shorten, and the only one that will be sanctioned by his wife and mother-in-law, is to go the distance with Gillard, then weather the September Wipeout and begin anew.

    At that point he will have more credibility than last year’s man, Kevin Rudd. Kevvie will be looking somewhat jaded after the September Wipeout, having not had the guts to take over.

    Unfortunately, Shorten beginning anew will mean resurrecting the squalid, rancid ideology of the union movement. He’s a union man remember that, and that is the last thing Australia needs as it moves into the 21st Century.

    Hasn’t anybody recognised the conflict of interest in Bill Shorten’s wife being the daughter of our Governor General?

    Another job for Tony to do on September 15.

  11. Richard Ryan says:

    GD, hates unions, this includes credit unions, marriage unions, and any union that looks after the interest of others. But he loves self-interest, he is a member of the f.u. I am alright jack brigade.

  12. Richard Ryan says:

    If Tony Abbott became leader of this country, which he won’t, we would see civil war on the streets of Australia. In Tony Abbott’s own words, Australia will be “wiped out”. So a vote for Tony is a vote for civil war, now GD, please keep a civil tongue in your gob.

  13. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m surprised Ray that you didn’t pick up on this as it was published four hours before your last comment. I guess you’re not really ‘ahead of the news’ more than I am.

    Please try and keep up. It’s boring to have to bring you up to speed before commenting.

    What’s wrong, GD? Couldn’t find any other fault in my post so you invent one? That’s rather tedious and catty of you. For what it’s worth though, I was indeed aware of that news (if you can call it news), but I don’t see it as significantly affecting Caucus’ position on the leadership. So Chloe supports Gillard so Bill won’t change his mind? Well maybe that’s right. Maybe (as I suggested in the post), Bill doesn’t have the balls to go against his wife. I never said he would. Please try and stop being such a nitpicking and predictable bore.

  14. Tony says:

    You Bill Shorten fans, are making a pretty big assumption here.

    If there is a labor decimation, and all signs are showing that there will be, what happens to labor, and Shorten fans, if he loses his own seat, which is quite on the cards ?

    Ironically, Rudd may be one of the few, that actually successfully hold their own seats. Even Gillard can’t guarantee that she will be there after the election.

    Richard ? does that make you then El Presidente ?

    It’s going to be fun to watch, that’s for certain.

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