Sunday 17 February 2013

Will Rudd drink from the poison chalice?

After a brief period of improving polls, the latest polling shows that the minority Labor government is losing ground to the opposition again, so at the moment it appears that the Sep 14 election result is again heading towards a landslide loss for the incumbent party. Since the announcement of the election date Prime Minister Gillard's approval has dropped sufficiently for opposition leader Tony Abbott to now be the preferred PM. This has reignited speculation that Kevin Rudd might be drafted back into the Labor leadership (having been previously dumped as PM in his first term after winning goverment for Labor) as the only way to avoid Labor being reduced to a rump party after the next federal election.

However, I think Kevin Rudd is way too smart to accept the Labor leadership again before the next election. Although as Labor leader he could probably bolster the Labor vote in Queensland, and help reduce the overall size of Labor's defeat at the next election, it seems unlikely that he could single-handedly win an election that was going to be lost by Gillard (and if things improve enough for Labor before Sep 14 for him to actually win, then Julia could probably also lead the party to victory). After all, a lot of Labor's unpopularity is due to party policies that would be hard to change simply by changing leader, and a change of leadership would do nothing to insulate Labor from the odium of the several corruption investigations/court cases currently underway in relation to several Labor politicians.

It seems more likely that Rudd will keep his powder dry until after the next election, and then aim to become leader of the Labor party if and when Gillard resigns after losing the next election. He would then have sufficient time to rebuild party support before trying to win back government at the following election (Kevin17?). It will be interesting to see how the polls track for the next six months until election eve...

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1 comment:

mOOm said...

That makes sense to me.