Gillard vs Rudd – the re-match

The government is down a Foreign Minister this evening (the Canberra Times reports on the likely shape of the looming reshuffle, in case you were wondering), and by all accounts the Prime Minister will seek to clear the air tomorrow by calling a leadership spill for Monday. This makes the timing of the next Newspoll very interesting indeed: usually it reports on Monday evening, but it occasionally emerges a day earlier. The Prime Minister would presumably prefer that the matter be resolved before it comes out rather than after.

Beyond that, I do not venture to guess what will occur, beyond observing the consensus view that Kevin Rudd will be seeking to wound rather than kill, as he starts far behind on most caucus head-counts. Two such have been published: an error-ridden effort from The Weekend Australian which was corrected the following Monday, and this from the Sydney Morning Herald. The former was rather kinder to Rudd. There are 51 out of 103 whom The Oz and the SMH agree are firm for Gillard, and 30 whom they agree are firm for Rudd. There are four agreed Gillard leaners and four agreed Rudd leaners. The Oz has six down as undecided, but the SMH has everyone as either firm or leaning.

Gillard supporters: Albanese, O’Neill, Combet, Clare, Fitzgibbon, Owens, Arbib, Thistlethwaite, Garrett, Bird, Grierson, Plibersek, Burke (NSW); Shorten, O’Connor, King, Feeney, Macklin, Gillard, Dreyfus, Danby, Roxon, Marles (Vic); Ripoll, Emerson, Perrett, Ludwig, Hogg, Neumann, Swan, D’Ath (Qld); Evans, Gray, Sterle, Smith (WA); McEwen, Farrell, Ellis, Butler, Georganas (SA); Julie Collins, Sidebottom (Tas); Leigh, Brodtmann, Lundy (ACT); Snowdon (NT).

Oz says Gillard lean, SMH says firm for Gillard: Rowland (NSW), Livermore (Qld), Gallacher (SA).

Oz says undecided, SMH says firm for Gillard: Hayes (NSW), Jenkins, Jacinta Collins, Kelvin Thomson (Vic).

Oz says Rudd lean, SMH says firm for Gillard: Craig Thomson (NSW), McLucas (Qld), Rishworth (SA).

Gillard leaners: Craig Thomson, Bradbury (NSW); Bilyk, Polley (Tas).

Oz says undecided, SMH says Gillard lean: Symon (Vic), Singh (Tas).

Oz says Rudd lean, SMH says Gillard lean: Laurie Ferguson (NSW), Champion (SA).

Oz says firm Rudd, SMH says firm Gillard: Melham (NSW).

Rudd leaners: Murphy (NSW); Pratt (WA); Adams, Lyons (Tas).

Rudd supporters: Bowen, Cameron, Husic, Saffin, Hall, Faulkner, Elliott, Kelly, McClelland, Jones, Stephens (NSW); Griffin, Burke, Byrne, Cheeseman, Marshall, Carr, Smyth, Vamvakinou, Ferguson (Vic); Moore, Rudd, Furner (Qld); Bishop, Parke (WA); Zappia (SA); Urquhart, Brown, Sherry (Tas); Crossin (NT).

If you’re in the mood for diversion, as many have been lately, here is a review of some recent preselection action, in keeping with this site’s brief (together with an even more diverting diversion to New Zealand).

• The Liberals are mulling over whether to proceed with the endorsement of Garry Whitaker to run against Craig Thomson in Dobell, following allegations he has lived for years without council permission in an “ensuite shed” on his Wyong Creek property while awaiting approval to build a house there. Whitaker won a preselection vote in December, but there is talk the state executive might overturn the result and install the candidate he defeated, the Right-backed WorkCover public servant Karen McNamara. As for Labor, Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports there is “no chance” Thomson will be preselected again, “with party strategists favouring the nomination fo a young woman to create maximum differentiation from the tainted MP”. One possibility is local councillor Emma McBride, whose father Grant McBride bowed out as state member for The Entrance at last year’s state election.

• Joanna Gash, who has held the south coast NSW seat of Gilmore for the Liberals since 1996, announced last month that she would not seek another term. She plans to move her political career down a notch by running in the direct election for mayor of Shoalhaven in September, which will not require her to resign her seat in parliament (UPDATE: A reader points out that the O’Farrell government is planning to change this, and that there is a strong chance it will do so before September.) Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the front-runner to succeed her as Liberal candidate is local deputy mayor Andrew Guile, a former staffer to Gash who has since fallen out with her. Salusinszky reports Guile is an ally of state Kiama MP Gareth Ward, “a member of the party’s Left faction who is influential in local branches”. Clive Brooks, owner of South Nowra business Great Southern Motorcycles and reportedly an ally of Gash, has also been mentioned as a possible contender, as have “conservative pastor Peter Pilt and former 2007 state election candidate Ann Sudmalis” (by Mario Christodoulou of the Illawarra Mercury).

• A Liberal Party preselection vote on Saturday will see incumbent Louise Markus challenged by aged-care lobbyist Charles Wurf in Macquarie. According to Imre Salusinszky in The Australian, local observers consider the contest too close to call: “A defeat of Ms Markus would be a stick in the eye to federal leader Tony Abbott, who backs sitting MPs, and to the state party machine, which does not wish to devote precious campaign resources to marketing an unknown in the ultra-marginal seat.”

• In Eden-Monaro, former Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Hendy is reckoned likely to win Liberal endorsement.

• Andrew Southcott, the Liberal member for the Adelaide seat of Boothby, is being challenged for preselection by Chris Moriarty, former state party president and operator of an export manufacturing firm. Daniel Wills of The Advertiser reports Moriarty is a close ally of former state Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith. Also challenging is Mark Nankivell, whom Wills rates as “little known” but rumoured to be supported by another former state leader, Iain Evans. Southcott’s lax fund-raising efforts are said to have angered many in the party.

• Also under challenge is Patrick Secker in the rural South Australian seat of Barker. He faces rivals in the shape of Mount Gambier lawyer Tony Pasin and Millicent real estate agent and Wattle Range councillor Ben Treloar, but Daniel Wills reports he is expected to prevail.

• New Zealand is conducting a review into its mixed member proportional electoral system, which received a strong endorsement from voters at a referendum held in conjunction with the November election. The main concern to have emerged is that candidates can run both in constituencies and as part of the party lists which are used to top up parties’ representation so that their parliamentary numbers are proportional to the votes cast. The most frequently cited anomaly here relates to the Auckland electorate of Epsom, which has been held since 2005 by Rodney Hine of the free-market Act New Zealand party. The National Party has an interest in the seat remaining in the Act New Zealand fold, as the party is its natural coalition partner and success in a constituency seat entitles it to a share of seats proportional to its vote (a failure to do so would require them to clear a 5 per cent national vote threshold). To this end it has formed the habit of running a candidate in the seat who is also given an unloseable position on the party list, so supporters can be reassured that he will have a seat even if he loses in Epsom. One possibility is that the problem might be lessened by lowering the threshold to 4 per cent, which is what the original royal commission into the electoral system recommended before MMP was introduced in 1996.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

3,095 comments on “Gillard vs Rudd – the re-match”

Comments Page 1 of 62
1 2 62
  1. I thought it was the perfect job for him too (all care and no responsibility, plus you get to go to Washington and chin-wag with the Beezer) but it seems he wants the Big Seat again.

    In the unlikley event that he gets it, I sure hope he’s up to the job this time around. Ministers, members of caucus and Public Service Mandarins had better lay-in a decent stock of anxiolytics and anti-depressants, too.

  2. smythe,
    Yes. I get to thinking (and crying) about my missing dogs. I trawl the lost dogs sites, etc and I update their facebook page.

    Must get some sleep though.

  3. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Kevin Rudd has called all the #MSMhack LIARS because he said he has never engaged in any stealth whiteanting of PM Gillard #respill

  4. i thought our Poss was a little bit rich in saying that:

    [Possum Comitatus @Pollytics Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    With at least 4 days to go, if you’re a commentator making predictions, they’re worth less than a Greek bond]

    Yet he was loudly predicitng that PM Gillard is unelectable in 2013, hence my response:

    [TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @Pollytics jezus Poss, you made a prediction Gillard is unelectable in 2013, that’s 546days to go. that Zimbabwe Bond]

  5. From the previous thread:

    [William@3512, Antony is a top notch psephologist, but his predictive skills in politics are no better than yours and mine.]

    Exactly. On the contrary, they cannot the forest from the trees that they have been counting.

    That also applies to all of the #MSMhacks, their skills of insightful political analysis & commentary are no better than yours and mine.

    See #6 above, where Poss was having a go at people who make prediction in the next 4 days, yet he boldly made a prediction of something in the next 546 days.

  6. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    This is a little bit rich. #MSMhacks complained that Ministers never explained why they dumped Rudd. Now they do, hacks still complain why?

  7. Kelvin Thompson is passionate about the hazards of population boosting so I doubt he would support the return of “I like a big Australia” Rudd. Under JG’s watch the migration numbers came down to about 200,000 from Rudd’s 300,000.
    Rudd and his wife’s interests favour large “skilled” migrant numbers where there is a lot of money to be made importing skilled labour. On Rudd’s watch there was watering down of the rules for eligibility for 457 visas. Regional employers at one stage were relieved of the responsibility to prove they could not find suitable local skilled workers to justify their 457 requests.
    I always had the impression that “big Australia” was the real reason Kevin was in effect removed.

  8. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Any employee who abandon his/her job half way should get the sack #respill

  9. How sickening the whole thing is. The only winners, other than Abbott and co, will be the Rupert Murdochs and Gina Riheharts of the world.

  10. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    @WilkieMP Mr. Wilkie, how do you feel this morning about the report that Kevin Rudd intention of dumping the #PokiesReform if he’s a leader.

  11. Don’t believe those who say Nick Champion and Amanda Rishworth are anything other than Gillard supporters. Both are members of the Don Farrell faction.

  12. The Finnigans

    Me thinks Wilkie has been reconsidering his support for Ms Gillard. It must of dawned on him earlier in the week that he was dudded by Rudd.

  13. Morning All

    HUGE day yesterday and a some big ones coming up. While most would understand Kevin being upset by being sacked by his own party as PM, who wouldn’t be, I am surprised how far it seems he has gone to hurt them as a result.

    Arranging an approach to Clubs Australia in the heat of the battle over pokies and promising to dismantle party policy is an absolute disgrace. Leaking, constantly undermining – not happy Kevin (insert angry face)

    Does anyone think the 4 journalists he has been briefing will be named publicly???

    Looking forward to Julia taking control today – her speech should be devastating, well it better be. They now have proof he has been actively campaigning against the government – that goes close to making him a Labor rat, a Labor mouse maybe

    Expect to see more fly the other way over the next few days as well, the media will go hard against Julia – one of the first things to come out will be the text messages sent by her office on Australia Day imo

    Finally, how good was it to see Mark Latham back on the side of good ripping into Chris Kenny last night, super stuff – shame it probably won’t last

  14. womble

    Rudd knows why he was sacked by his own party. They spared his feelings by not telling the rest of Oz. This is how he rewards them. Leaking confidental cabinet discussions during an election. And He has been leaking ever since.

  15. [They now have proof he has been actively campaigning against the government – that goes close to making him a Labor rat, a Labor mouse maybe..]

    One thing Labor has never tolerated is a rat. You rat-out the Party and your career is frogmarched-out and put up against the nearest pock-marked wall.

    If Rudd knows his Labor history he must at least know this, so he’d better hope the Clubs Australia story is baseless.

  16. true Victoria – i think it hurt Julia that she wouldn’t reveal the reasons for taking his job out of loyalty, maybe now is the time for it to all come out

    Smithe – spot on, if there is proof re the Clubs Australia story he is GONE

  17. [Arranging an approach to Clubs Australia in the heat of the battle over pokies and promising to dismantle party policy is an absolute disgrace.]

    During 2007 Rudd said he was going to play with Howards mind. it now appears that he has being doing the same to Gillard since 2010 with promises made to overturn government policies and strategic leaks to the press.

    His resignation speech as FM was more self serving mind games to paint himself as a pure innocent party bullied by faceless men.

  18. After a night of cogitation:

    It would appear that Rudd has been the problem all along. Labor is now dealing with that problem. It’s messy, but in the long term necessary.

    At last people – including myself! – can see why Rudd was so hated in the party (the depth of the hatred and distrust always puzzled me).

    Far from showing that Labor is divided (there’s always contenders for leadership, and those that support them, a different matter altogether) it shows that the majority of the party are united in their determination to confront this issue and get on with government.

    It seems this was inevitable from the start.

    In which case, it’s not a matter for wringing hands and sobbing ‘Why now?” It’s a time for steely jawed determination, for lancing the boil, getting rid of the poison and moving on.

    Of course it might still kill the government – this is a risky business. But it could also mean getting rid of the last real imipediment to gettng on with the job.

    The point is, it was always going to happen. And it says nothing about the party as a whole, its fitness to govern, or about Gillard’s leadership.

    It is all about one man, and has been for a very long time.

  19. castle
    Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    His resignation speech as FM was more self serving mind games to paint himself as a pure innocent party bullied by faceless men.

    His speech was full of the *Perpendicular Pronoun* – I, I, I.

    Said it all really.

    Rudd will now be remembered as a Rat, but he did slay a lying rodent.

  20. [Rudd will now be remembered as a Rat, but he did slay a lying rodent.]

    True, he got rid of Howie, but he is prepared to destroy the government agenda, legislation and policies for his own interests.

  21. True, he got rid of Howie, but he is prepared to destroy the government agenda, legislation and policies for his own interests.

    Thats exactly what he is doing.

    He is putting himself above and before the interests of every other person in the nation.

  22. Some one was spiking the cool aid last night- Dumbby a minister? Thompson x2 still in pairlament? Oh please. And the numbers are around 43 Rudd. As I said half of NSW most of Left, x2 Vic, x4 queensland, x3 Sa, and about x5 WA and Tas

  23. Muskiemp
    It has taken me too long to come to the same conclusion as you.
    I think Rudd has now given the party the opportunity to get the facts on to the table and undergo the necessary catharsis to clear the air leading up to the next election.

  24. centaur

    your figures are dubious, to say the least. Even a number of those on the SMH list as firm Rudd supporters have declared their hand for Gillard.

    The numbers are less than Rudd thinks they are. He is the supreme egotist; he would be interpretting polite dissimulation as earnest support, and seeing twinkles in the eyes of those telling him outright they don’t support him.

  25. BK

    You probably gave him the benefit of the doubt. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but knew early on he was bad news, and that he was the source of the leaks during the election campaign.

  26. victoria
    Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    There are many who either think Rudd is the ants pants or concern trolls

    Like this from a person who claimed *to support the party leader*

    Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Now Rudd will return and she will get an axe right between the eyes. And the public will cheer.

    If Rudd doesn’t stand he is gutless.

  27. Seeing covers-off Kev-07. Not much policy that he wouldn’t compromise.

    I think the Mark Reilly story may have forced his resignation. More to come on that I’d say.

  28. Centaur: You’re dreaming on those numbers, buddy.

    There is no way Rudd has 3 in SA. No way. As I’ve said before, Farrell controls the numbers and he is with Gillard. Cross Rishworth and Champion off your list.

    And Zappia may be a Rudd supporter (not exclusively, though; he also supports the PM) but in any spill he is actually more likely to support the incumbent. His seat is also very safe now (thanks to his hard work), so he has nothing to fear from a swing against Labor (unless it is monstrous, which it is more likely to be if they change leaders again).

    In short, if a small state like SA could be so wrong, imagine the mistakes in the larger states.

    Also, to how many people in the Caucus do you think yesterday’s antics appealed? I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see his numbers have plummeted off the back of that effort. It was the ultimate act of self-interested dummy-spitting.

    Moreover, some backbenchers who weren’t there in 2007-2010 who might have been giving him the benefit of the doubt up until now just got a taste of what everyone has been talking about. Added to that the revelations that he has been promising to water down or change some of the reforms that Labor has introduced behind the backs of his Cabinet and Caucus colleagues.

    No, Ruddster is gone after yesterday. You can’t dump a steaming pile on your party for 18 months and expect them to get out a spoon and tuck in.

  29. I actually haven’t got any issue with Rudd destabilising Gillard – after all, isn’t that what she and her supporters did to him almost 2 years ago?
    Grow up, people, politics isn’t a game for shrinking violets.
    The woman won the top job through rank deceit, and she arguably really didn’t win the last election, so all claims of her legitimacy are very dubious.

  30. I also don’t know why Gillard would even consider for a second delaying a leadership ballot until Friday next week. What worth can come out of that other than continued public brawling within the party?

  31. [For the life of me I will never understand how Rudd manages to have people go so bonkers in support of him.]

    It’s the cult of personality. It’s all rather disturbing.

  32. ltep
    Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    For the life of me I will never understand how Rudd manages to have people go so bonkers in support of him.

    The irony of it is the likes of Piers Ackerman was telling anyone who would listen years ago what Rudd was really like.

    Now *that* hurts.

  33. womble

    One of Julia’s “staff” has probably been writing her victory speech for month now, of course, without her official knowledge. So after she has reviewed it 5 times (all happened today) Julia’s “last minute” speech is going to be great

  34. TLM

    [Grow up, people, politics isn’t a game for shrinking violets.]

    Nor is it a game where a ‘player’ with a total lack of policy conviction will last.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 62
1 2 62