And still Sussex Street swoons – or shows its love as only Sussex Street can in the Telegraph today:
Kim Beazley's future as Labor leader is in doubt, with party figures using secret internal polling to lobby for his removal. The polling – conducted nationally in 24 Coalition-held marginal seats last month – shows voters do not believe Mr Beazley has what it takes to become PM…
"It shows Beazley's unelectable," a source close to the polling said. "He's not connecting."
Its publication followed revelations in The Daily Telegraph that NSW Labor was so fed up with Mr Beazley's performance they were urging union boss Bill Shorten to enter politics immediately to bolster the Labor team. Mr Beazley spent yesterday with Mr Shorten, meeting miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell in Beaconsfield, and heaped praise on his would-be successor…
Yup. The old leak-the-polling trick. Just like they did to Crean before.
Putting Shorten on the escalator could hurt him and Beazley. A by-election would be a test for Labor when it doesn't need one. Imagine the consequences if Labor's vote dipped.
Shorten's early arrival could be destabilising and distracting. The media and Beazley's enemies in sections of the Labor organisation might talk him up as a pre-election alternative. Some senior frontbenchers, looking to the post-election leadership (assuming a Labor loss), would spend time trying to cruel his pitch.
And the obvious question would be: what does it say about Beazley, a former deputy prime minister, if he needs Shorten there to help him?
And Shorten seems to be a sensible sort. Andrew Landeryou observes “From what we hear, young Bill is very well in sync with the Way Things Work in Canberra. It's a marathon not a sprint, with sprinters like John Hewson and Mark Latham pulling up very sore indeed after momentarily looking great.”