“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 2005L-NP

ALP

Aust Dem.#

The Greens

One Nation#

Family First #

Ind/
Other#

No Answer#

%%%%%%%%%%
Howard46376018248493716
Costello1418152125251920
Nelsonn/a4279297
Abbott36469121867
Andrewsn/a3231055
Downer6107175117148
Turnbull69315412971922
Someone else2**2
Can’t say18127141423863178
Total100100100100100100100100100100

# 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
MenWomen18-2425-3435-4950+
%%%%%%%%
Howard4637363925303644
Costello1418211523281117
Nelsonn/a4535353
Abbott36578875
Andrewsn/a3335522
Downer6109121310129
Turnbull6913535912
Someone else2***21
Can’t say18128161711188
Total100100100100100100100100


Roy Morgan Research Preferred Labor Leader

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

2005
Sep 21/22
2005
L-NP

ALPAust Dem.#

The Greens

One Nation#

Family First #

Ind/
Other#
No Answer#
%%%%%%%%%%
Beazley42302342221647492825
Gillard152017193832111822
Rudd2319221420191863412
Swan343543976
Smith233534
Macklin46245
Tanner1332594
Someone else12323
Can’t say131520912131727641
Total100100100100100100100100100100

# 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+

%%%%%%%%
Beazley4230352436392824
Gillard1520201912162321
Rudd2319221721151722
Swan34455127
Smith2334135
Macklin4443264
Tanner13236313
Someone else12132223
Can’t say131592114221811
Total100100100100100100100100

Peter Fray

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