We shouldn’t be surprised. Crikey subscribers like stirrers. Malcolm Turnbull and Julia Gillard would be your natural choices to lead the two major parties. You like theatre. You like action. And you hate swots and goody-goodies and people who suck up to teacher, so of course Brendan Nelson and Kevin Andrews and Alexander Downer are going to poll pathetically.

You’re still prepared to give Peter Costello a go. Just the way you recognise that Lindsay Tanner has got some good contributions to make to his party, the parliament and political debate.

Unfortunately, Stephen Smith hasn’t been included in this poll, so we can’t test that old Labor maxim “Neither a lemming nor a rooster be” – but Swanny’s certainly fallen flat.

Kevin Rudd’s level of support suggests that you regard him as good with his brief, but not as leadership material. Yet.

Jenny Macklin’s polling is exactly what she deserves, after demonstrating a comprehensive failure of leadership when she’s been left in charge of her party over the holiday period over the past two years.

And Kim Beazley’s results are simply very, very worrying. No wonder he is in the position where Julia Gillard can say he has her support until the next election – as good as saying “we’ll lose under Kim”.

Beazley can’t even take the obvious step – getting a deputy who’s more than a gesture to tokenism. As soon as anyone in the Labor leadership moves, the whole mountainside will come down.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey