"It showed that the great myth that Victoria was safe had exploded. Shorten's strategy of keeping his powder dry and letting the other states burn was over."Then, five weeks later, a second sentinel event occurred. On June 4, JWS Research polling was published by News Limited. Almost surreally, it showed Isaacs was now in play with a 15.4% swing. Alarm bells, and Shorten's mobile, started ringing off the hook. It's understood Shorten then took the extreme step of commissioning private polling in his seat of Maribyrnong, that he holds by 17.5% on the new boundaries. "That polling just f-cking freaked people out," the MP said. "The shelling from that polling just went white hot. "It showed that the great myth that Victoria was safe had exploded. Shorten's strategy of keeping his powder dry and letting the other states burn was over." MPs strolling around their electorates were constantly badgered with references by members of the CALD community to Rudd -- if he were leader they would have shifted their vote. Key Victorian AWU powerbrokers began pushing upwards. South-East MP Luke Donellan and former AWU state secretary Cesar Melhem (by then in the upper house in Pakula's vacated spot) were crucial. "There were basically phone calls from the AWU to Bill to say you've got to move," the anonymous MP said. "It was getting intolerable." Barrie Cassidy's pronouncement on Insiders on June 9 that Rudd would take over before the election belled the cat. Cassidy is considered very close to Shorten and sometimes takes meals with him. Elsewhere, things were also gradually falling into place. Most of the NSW Right had moved en masse in March, with the only state holdouts Tony Burke, Chris Hayes and Sharon Bird. And right-aligned general secretary Sam Dastyari was on hand in Canberra this week, partly for a meeting with the national secretariat but also to ensure the vote proceeded smoothly. The South Australian Left, led by Mark Butler, were well on the way, and Tasmania was also sufficiently wobbly. As Shorten strolled up to the press pack at 6.30pm last night, the numbers had already moved beyond the 51 required for a tie. Barring a miracle, the Rudd camp was home free.
Shorten was for turning: when the mobiles rung for Rudd
Labor powerbroker Bil Shorten was holding on to his default position of supporting Julia Gillard while the party moved around him. What made him turn?