On Gillard at the Sydney Opera House

Louise Thurtell writes: Re. “At the Opera House, a Gillard curtain call to a cacophony of love” (yesterday).  As someone who remains appalled by the way Gillard was treated by the media, the opposition and some members of her own party, I found the patronising tone of Andrew Crook’s article irritating. Though I didn’t agree with a number of things Gillard did in government — making Slipper speaker and her opposition to gay marriage, for example — I was very impressed by the wit, intelligence and surprising lack of rancour she displayed [at the event]. Do you think it’s possible for Crikey to find a journalist — male or female — who can write about Gillard without being condescending? Please.

Margaret Smyth writes: What a pity you didn’t send someone less prejudiced than Andrew Crook (or a woman?) to the Julia Gillard interview.  Then perhaps we could have learnt more than we did from the snide and condescending little piece that he wrote.

Penny Rosier writes: What  a biased article you have published. Julia Gillard was thoroughly white-anted from within her party, was attacked mercilessly by the venomously envious leader of the opposition, was obscenely and inaccurately depicted by furious shock jocks, cartoonists and mainstream journalists and still managed to achieve the highest rate of legislation of any Prime Minister, much of which is truly admirable.  She did make mistakes, but which prime minister didn’t? One of the most telling things happened just after her interview by a radio journalist in WA who asked if Tim Mathieson was gay and after the obscene menu naming a dish after Gillard was released and became news.  The poll at the end of that week showed Labor’s support dropping by 7% among men and rising 2% among women. With that in mind, what do you really think of your male compatriots? I for one am bitterly disappointed in them.

Peter Matters writes: Putting aside the compliments attracted by Julia Gillard at the meetings in Sydney and Melbourne, history will honour her not only as a pioneer but also for her achievements as Prime Minister under the most brutal conditions of abuse ever. Tony Abbott will be dismissed as a buffoon.

Brandis and co at Michael Smith’s wedding

John Shailer writes: Re. “Michael Smith: Brandis honest, legit over wedding night expenses” (Monday). Labor’s love media are scraping the bottom of the barrel with their an unfounded attack on Attorney-General George Brandis over expenses to attend the wedding of journalist Mike Smith. Brandis was there in a political capacity and was invited to talk on freedom of speech, which was famously denied to Smith by media outlets over Julia Gillard’s alleged involvement in the AWU scandal.  Labor’s dirt file operatives have also criticised him over his book purchases, although well within guidelines. When will Labor start to focus on policy rather than character assassination?

A closer look at polling data

Paul Pollard writes: Re “Essential: we’re warming to the Coalition’s Direct Action approach” (yesterday) On the basis of Essential survey figures of Coalition 43%, Labor 36%, Greens 9% and Others 12%, Essential says the two-party preferred vote is 48:52. This is clearly using the traditional (from recent elections prior to 2013) preference flow to Labor of Greens 80%, Others 40%. However, one or both of these last preference flows must have altered in the 2013 election. According to the AEC, the 2PP vote for Labor was 46.41, up from 33.38% primary vote. This can only be explained by a higher flow of Greens and/or Others preferences to Labor than previously. I suspect that what has happened is that the flow to Labor from Others has lifted from 40% to 50%. This gives almost exactly the 46.41 Labor 2PP. This looks plausible as the extraordinary near-doubling of the Others vote. If these new plausible preference flows are applied to the latest Essential survey, the 2PP is Labor 49.2,Coalition 50.8 or rounded, 49:51. Even less of a honeymoon for the new government.

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Peter Fray
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