Polling across the board confirms a significant swing to the ALP since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reclaimed the top job, putting his party in prime position as he prepares to unveil the revised federal election date. Our own research shows Rudd has put a major dent in Tony Abbott’s standing in that bastion of conservatism, Sydney talkback radio, drawing neck and neck with the Opposition Leader in the crucial western Sydney marginals.
Of course, if you believe Foreign Minister Bob Carr, K-Rudd will steer us away from a poll-driven political climate, the one that has shackled us with parties so similar on much major policy that it’s hard to deny the arrival of a US-style presidential election race.
Rudd's plans to reform the NSW Right, welcomed by state Labor leader John Robertson, and to throw open the election of federal Labor leader to rank-and-file members is ruffling feathers in the Labor movement. Yet many federal MPs and two of the "faceless men" -- union boss Paul Howes and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten -- back his proposal. Ironic when you consider it might have prevented his recent ascension -- and probably prevented his earlier demise -- but it’s strategic gold where the electorate is concerned.
This week’s media coverage chart returns to a new kind of normality, with Immigration Minister Tony Burke and opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison on the rise, our major party leaders at the top, and one J.E Gillard beginning her descent. In state politics, the most saturated media focus has been on NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, who remained poker-faced in giving James Packer the green light on his Barangaroo casino development.
Crikey Political Index: July 4-10