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Sep 3, 2011

Gillard states, “I'm not going anywhere.”

Cartoon: By Bill Leak.

Gillard probably is correct in her prediction that she is not going anywhere. 23 – 27% has to be about rock bottom in polling, so it is questionable whether the latest failure over the ill fated ‘Malaysia solution’ will make a great deal of difference. The point has probably been reached where only the welded on apparatchiks remain in support of the government, and they are likely to hang in there no matter what.

Labor has no one viable to replace her with at this stage. There has been an effort to recruit retired former Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie into Federal parliament with a view toward the top job, but he has just rejected the idea. In any case, Labor would have to get a member to resign and have a by-election for this to happen. As they are clinging to power by one vote, they don’t have that option without losing power.

Beattie has urged the party to “hold your nerve,” saying "To change leaders at this time would destroy the Labor Party.”

It is reported that some Labor figures are reduced to contemplating a return of Kevin Rudd; it is difficult to view this as a serious option. Rudd was unceremoniously dumped last year and to resurrect him at this stage would be a major embarrassment to all concerned. It is not entirely inconceivable however, as John Howard was deposed as opposition leader, subsequently reinstated, and went on to win government.

There are suggestions that Shorten or Simon Crean could be in the offing for leader, but neither seems to be making any move. Bill Shorten is another possible, however he has the complication of having the Governor General as a mother in law, which may be a conflict of interest.

The best guess at this stage is that Gillard may possibly stay on, mainly because whoever leads the party to the next election is set up for disaster. For this reason anyone with serious leadership aspirations will want to stay as far as possible away from it.

A further complication for Labor is the Thompson affair, which refuses to go away. The latest news comes from the tax department, which has assessed, that the user of the card may owe around $230,000 in back taxes. Given that the Labor Party has had to lend him $150,000 in order to avoid bankruptcy over his legal bills, they may find it better to let him go.

Possibly the best bet for Labor would be to go to an early election as soon as possible and start rebuilding.

1 comment:

  1. Never mind, Julia. At least your beloved Bulldogs are in the finals... oh, wait, sorry, they've had a shit year too. But on the upside if you lose your job at the right time they might still be looking for a full forward.