“The word inside the government is that John Howard is turning his attention to the retirement question,” Laurie Oakes writes in The Bulletin today. “He is said to have asked key staffers to give him a few months to think about his future. Several of the prime minister’s trusted advisers are known to have been quietly investigating employment opportunities in private enterprise. But, if the discreet inside talk is accurate, Howard wants them to put any plans on hold for the time being while he makes up his mind whether to stay on or hand over to Peter Costello.”

If Howard’s got his bag half packed – and given Beazley’s polling – that means there’s going to be leadership tension in both parties for the rest of year.

Both John Howard’s and Kim Beazley’s futures will depend on what happens with the already-delayed industrial relations legislation. Industrial relations reform has been a personal crusade for John Howard for two decades – while the cause of labour is the cause of Labor.

So who might follow? Over to our friends at Roy Morgan Research.

Last week they asked two questions that a lot of people in Canberra would like to know the answer to: “If you were a Liberal of National Party voter and helping to choose the Coalition leader for the next Federal election, who would you prefer?” and “If you were a Labor Party voter and helping to choose the Labor leader for the next Federal election, who would you prefer?”

Well, Iron Mark seems to be right on the money about Julia Gillard. And who would have thought Greens voters thought so highly of Alexander Downer?

Roy Morgan Research Preferred Coalition Leader

Electors 18+ Analysis by Federal Voting Intention
April 2004

Sep 21/22 2005 L-NP

ALP

Aust Dem.#

The Greens

One Nation#

Family First #

Ind/
Other#

No Answer#

% % % % % % % % % %
Howard 46 37 60 18 24 8 49 37 16
Costello 14 18 15 21 25 25 19 20
Nelson n/a 4 2 7 9 2 9 7
Abbott 3 6 4 6 9 12 18 6 7
Andrews n/a 3 2 3 10 5 5
Downer 6 10 7 17 5 11 7 14 8
Turnbull 6 9 3 15 4 12 9 7 19 22
Someone else 2 * * 2
Can’t say 18 12 7 14 14 23 8 6 31 78
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution
* Less than 0.5%

Electors 18+ Analysis by Sex and Age
April
2004
Sep 21/22
2005
Men Women 18-24 25-34 35-49 50+
% % % % % % % %
Howard 46 37 36 39 25 30 36 44
Costello 14 18 21 15 23 28 11 17
Nelson n/a 4 5 3 5 3 5 3
Abbott 3 6 5 7 8 8 7 5
Andrews n/a 3 3 3 5 5 2 2
Downer 6 10 9 12 13 10 12 9
Turnbull 6 9 13 5 3 5 9 12
Someone else 2 * * * 2 1
Can’t say 18 12 8 16 17 11 18 8
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100


Roy Morgan Research Preferred Labor Leader

Electors 18+ Analysis by Federal Voting Intention
Jan
19/20

2005
Sep 21/22
2005
L-NP

ALP Aust Dem.#

The Greens

One Nation#

Family First #

Ind/
Other#
No Answer#
% % % % % % % % % %
Beazley 42 30 23 42 22 16 47 49 28 25
Gillard 15 20 17 19 38 32 11 18 22
Rudd 23 19 22 14 20 19 18 6 34 12
Swan 3 4 3 5 4 3 9 7 6
Smith 2 3 3 5 3 4
Macklin 4 6 2 4 5
Tanner 1 3 3 2 5 9 4
Someone else 1 2 3 2 3
Can’t say 13 15 20 9 12 13 17 27 6 41
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

# Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution

Electors 18+ Analysis by Sex and Age
Jan 19/20
2005
Sep 21/22
2005
Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50+

% % % % % % % %
Beazley 42 30 35 24 36 39 28 24
Gillard 15 20 20 19 12 16 23 21
Rudd 23 19 22 17 21 15 17 22
Swan 3 4 4 5 5 1 2 7
Smith 2 3 3 4 1 3 5
Macklin 4 4 4 3 2 6 4
Tanner 1 3 2 3 6 3 1 3
Someone else 1 2 1 3 2 2 2 3
Can’t say 13 15 9 21 14 22 18 11
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

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