The leadership stand-off remains in place, reflected perfectly in our media coverage charts, with PM Julia Gillard and MP Kevin Rudd at the top. But will K-Rudd get back to top spot, both here and in the Labor Party? Given a disastrous week for the PM in Nielsen’s primary polls, most bets for a possible change are on next week — before that would expose Rudd to parliamentary attack and a possible no-confidence vote, and after that would simply be too late. But there are many critical factors in play as the party tries to save the furniture at the next election, including Employment Minister Bill Shorten agreeing to tell Gillard to stand down.
Meanwhile the opposition, led by Tony Abbott, made known its plan should K-Rudd make a return: to attack him on asylum seeker boat policy and his abolition of Howard government border protection policies. Some suggested under Rudd Labor would lose western Sydney as the opposition focused on immigration changes he engineered. Others argue western Sydney is gone either way. The only certainty is that members of the Labor caucus have painted themselves into a very, very small corner, and they’re still holding the paintbrush.
So the conversation has moved back to playing the person, not the ball. And regardless, any policy discussion is playing just as well for Abbott as Gillard, with any policy changes now being seen just as much his as hers. Polling now shows, surprisingly, that the ALP is behind the Coalition on jobs, asylum seekers, interest rates, the environment and, extraordinarily, even health, the longstanding core of Labor electoral advantage since Medicare was introduced almost 40 years ago. Being ahead on industrial relations by a whisker and education by a solitary percentage point just isn’t going to swing it.
Big movers this week include Defence Minister Stephen Smith after the ADF s-x scandal and Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, likely a high-profile western Sydney election casualty who still backs Gillard.
Crikey Political Index: June 13-19
The gender issue — men in blue ties, fundraiser menus and the first bloke’s s-xuality — ruled the airwaves this week.
Talkback top five
A ginormous amount of social media conversation about K-Rudd, trebling that of his opposition.
Social media top five
The dumped Perth shock jock believes he was sacked due to his Parkinson’s disease not his controversial comments about Gillard’s partner …
Comparisons on media mentions