Prime Minister Julia Gillard rules the media roost, and should see the week out in the top job; the PM’s forces argue to waverers that bad polls are mainly due to Kevin Rudd’s interference and that as soon as he became PM again his polls would collapse, too. A flawed argument this may be, yet there are probably enough caucus members who: 1) hate Rudd more than they love their job; 2) believe “it’s all Rudd’s fault”; 3) are egotistical enough to think they can save their own seat; or 4) have very safe seats to block Rudd.

Regardless, Rudd thinks he’s the only one who can “save” Labor — even though he may hate most of them, along with the unions. And punters want Rudd back, plain and simple — they think he was robbed back in 2010 and they’ve never liked Gillard. Voters also think life was a bit better back in 2010 than it is now (whether that’s true or not). The public is not listening to the PM or giving her credit for introducing a disability insurance scheme or pursuing school funding reforms. And, remember, Howard was tipped out in a strong economy, so this situation reflects a post-ideological, presidential-style politic based on personality rather than rusted-on beliefs.

Movers this week include Anthony Albanese, who says Bill Shorten has never been involved in ALP inner sanctum tactical discussions. Meanwhile rumours surfaced that Greg Combet had in 2011 mooted a role as treasurer under a Rudd leadership. Some suppose Shorten and Combet are now waiting for it all to be over so they can time their own runs. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy chimed in saying he wouldn’t serve under Rudd, while independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announced they’d hang up their gloves after the election. The voters? Sadly, they’re over it.

Crikey Political Index: June 20-26

isentia june 26

Abbott is more than happy to take a back seat as the ALP power struggle drama continues unabated.

Talkback top five

The social conversation this week centred on pollies with leadership ambition.

Social media top five

They say timing is everything. Coach Mickey Arthur was axed by Cricket Australia on the eve of the Ashes.

Comparisons on media mentions

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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