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”

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  1. One problem with Rudd’s latest promises about electing the ministry, carbon pricing, etc – no-one will believe he will stick to them if he comes under a bit of pressure.

  2. FWIW I thought Rudd’s press conference was very good. And pitched well to both the constituents he was targeting.

    I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to find out what Gillard’s take on the ETS was.

    Rudd’s calmness and clarity of thought makes me now wonder if there isn’t some revelation to come out re Gillard or the factions that created her.

    Still a few days of high entertainment.

  3. Greentart
    Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I hope Gillard announces she is resigning.

    I hope you announce you are fukcing off

  4. [so Rudd says he will “review” carbon pricing ?
    Who would have thunk ?
    Good-Bye Carbon Pricing, kevins greatest moral challenge of all time,]
    This is not what he said at all. He says he wants to move to the ETS faster.

    i.e. a floating price for permits rather than a fixed price which as it stands won\’t start until July 1, 2015.

  5. [no-one will believe he will stick to them if he comes under a bit of pressure.]

    You of course mean under pressure from Cabinet who might demand a different course that what you want.

  6. If I hear one more attack on Rudd’s character, I think I will spew. Some of you seem to forget that the NSW Right is Julia’s Praetorian guard. Give me a break. What you’re really complaining about is that he’s one step ahead of julia at the moment just as, if he becomes PM again, he will stay one step ahead of Abbott. You don’t fight a war with boy scouts.

  7. Rudd made this mistake with the Henry review; Gillard has made the same mistake with the Gonski review.

    After you do a big review of some issue, voters just expect action. Just DO SOMETHING, or say that there are no problems and move on.

    Oh my lord. Just when there’s some hope that you might have a grain of sense, you come out with this nonsense.

    If you can’t see the differences between the complete disaster of the Henry Review release coinciding with “doing something” by plonking the RSPT out there, fait accompli, like it or lump it, and how that caused the backlash against Kevin Rudd, I don’t know how it could be clearer.

    This time the government has released Gonski in a reasonable time and is quietly going around to the stakeholders and having private conversations with them to work out what is reasonable etc etc. Not the megaphone of “Here’s the RSPT, you better wear it!”. The biggest complaint about the RSPT was that there was no consultation etc.

    Now the government is actually consulting, and you are out there demanding immediate action.

    Peter Garrett made it pretty clear the government was looking to introduce legislation based on Gonski this year.

    Obviously the government is going to take its time and won’t commit to a $5billion slug to the budget right now; I believe if given the chance that Julia Gillard and Peter Garrett will take Gonski and run with it provided they can avoid scaring the stakeholders – I think they’ve handled it well so far. A positive reaction to the Gonski release, and a subtle don’t-scare-the-horses approach to consultation.

    The differences with Henry-RSPT are stark.

  8. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏ @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Ha ha ha, a new 3 word slogan: GET THINGS DONE – suck your lemon Abbott

  9. I had a look at the ‘old’ Mumble site earlier – those most prominent amongst the Latham lemmings were Gillard, Crean, Emerson, Snowdon, Roxon and Wong.

    So having cost Labor one election (2004) and, having lost 11 seats in 2010, they now persist in losing it another.

  10. rosa

    [If I hear one more attack on Rudd’s character, I think I will spew]

    I have not posted here for a week or more for the same reason. Calling Rudd a “traitor” or a “rat” is not at all appropriate in my view.

  11. Gillard doesn\’t seem to understand that no one cares that Rudd was undermining a deeply unpopular government lead by a deeply unpopular Prime Minister who should announce her resignation right now.

  12. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏ @Thefinnigans Reply Delete Favorite · Open
    Good on PM Gillard in picking up the pt i have been making about Rudd’s contradiction of the Faceless Men

  13. Swan has been an excellent Treasurer, rolling back $30Bn of Howard’s middleclass welfare, imposing strict spending discipline and so on. He is actually becoming a very effective salesperson for the govt too tho no show pony.

    So Greentard is Showson? I had thought Showson one of the more level headed, cluey people here. So sad.

  14. Speaking of insufferable GP is back after an absence of about 10 months I note.

    Yes Menzies House is definitely working overtime here at PB at the moment.

  15. Mick Collins @ 2997

    so Rudd says he will “review” carbon pricing ?

    Possibly moving to an ETS sooner.

    Who would have thunk ?

    Clearly you don’g listen or don’t think.

    Good-Bye Carbon Pricing, kevins greatest moral challenge of all time,


    Good bye MRRT


    Good Bye media enquiry

    Don’t recall it being mentioned.

    look forward to the privatiseation of the NBN

    Always intended to be eventually sold off.

    If Rudd wins so do the vested interests.


    and Rudds fans ?
    well its always Style over Policy for them.
    Stuff the ALP stand for something, its all a big brother style popularity contest to these guys

    Actually it represents a fighting chance of beating Abbott.
    About time you stopped writing fiction.

  16. Good afternoon

    Not much to say. Gillard and Rudd are doing such a good job of shitting on each other that i could not beat them.

    Im just watching with a big smile.

  17. Gillard wants to know if she has the courage, method, discipline and purpose to get big reforms done, or if she is more likely the type of person to tell a sitting prime minister to shelve the CPRS.

  18. Greentard, save us time, save Crikey’s bandwidth… we know what you want to say, so just write your name and we will fill in the blanks.

  19. [Gillard wants to know if she has the courage, method, discipline and purpose to get big reforms done, or if she is more likely the type of person to tell a sitting prime minister to shelve the CPRS.]

    A sitting Prime Minister that didn’t have the courage to face up to his ‘greatest moral challenge’.

  20. [I have not posted here for a week or more for the same reason. Calling Rudd a “traitor” or a “rat” is not at all appropriate in my view.]
    It is easier to be against someone if you pretend in your mind that they are completely unlike you.

    It is a human tendency that makes things like warfare work.

  21. [AiSanSanAi ‏ @AiSanSanAi

    #RuddatWar Rudd threatens the power of right wing faction that is destroying labor This is war Rudd -v- the corruption of Labor-!]


  22. [Greentard, save us time, save Crikey’s bandwidth… we know what you want to say, so just write your name and we will fill in the blanks.]

  23. Bemused, seriously how does this:

    Possibly moving to an ETS sooner.

    work in the real world? Legislation would have to be amended – how is that going to be possible? Seriously? The Greens were the ones who insisted on the extended fixed price period. With the current Senate, they aren’t going to agree to any such amendments. So Kevin Rudd is promising to get the LNP on board for some “trimming” of the CEF legislation. I wonder how that is going to go down?

    Either it’s a complete throw away thought bubble of no consequence to him or anyone else, or it’s an invitation to open up the CEF legislation for much more radical surgery.

    Either way it’s a sham.

  24. [A sitting Prime Minister that didn’t have the courage to face up to his ‘greatest moral challenge’.]

    I wouldn’t be talking about this too much any more now that we know Gillard had no intention of doing anything until Tony Abbott did! Which makes her worse than Howard on this issue. So luckily the Greens got the balance of power, otherwise you would still be waiting.

  25. [Rudd supporters saying Gillard speech is rubbish and vice versa, gee who would of thunked it.]
    No I think Gillard\’s speech was quite good in that she has played to her strengths.

    The problem she has is that she may be a good administrator but she is a poor politician who the Australian people couldn\’t careless about.

    Gillard could get through an amazing policy achievement every month between now and the next election but she wouldn\’t be able to stop Abbott from becoming Prime Minister for the simple reason that Tony Abbott isn\’t Julia Gillard.

  26. The ALP Senate vote in QLD at the last election was 2.0585 quotas. If Gillard is at the helm of the ALP we can expect 3 LNP, 1Katter, 1 Green and 1 ALP next time.

    With 2 retained senators, that will still probably leave more QLD ALP members in the Senate than in the House.

  27. This seems to be the conventional wisdom about the numbers.

    If Rudd gets

    51 wins
    40-50 Gillard rooted and may as well resign
    30-40 Gillard gets some air and buys time but likely second stage challenge
    20-30 Rudd unlikely to get “contender” ever again unless polls die to 60-40
    less than 20 Gone for ever

  28. [ If Rudd gets

    51 wins
    40-50 Gillard rooted and may as well resign
    30-40 Gillard gets some air and buys time but likely second stage challenge
    20-30 Rudd unlikely to get “contender” ever again unless polls die to 60-40
    less than 20 Gone for ever ]

    Nice try, Diog! Here’s mine:

    If Rudd gets

    51 Australia rooted
    40-50 Rudd rooted
    30-40 Rudd rooted
    20-30 Rudd rooted
    less than 20 Rudd rooted

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