Rudd wins

So Rudd gets the job, 49-39. Once the challenge was on, this was the only politically plausible result – with anything less than a crushing Beazley majority, he would have been a lame duck, and Labor were better off trying to at least kill leadership speculation as an issue, even if there are other risks attached to Rudd as leader.

This morning’s polls showed that among electors Rudd was preferred Labor leader by 36% in the SMH/ACNielsen poll and 43% in a Newspoll reported in The Australian – up 15 percentage points in a week.

The ACNielsen poll also reported Labor leading on the two-party preferred 56-44, regardless of who was leader. I agree with Simon Jackman that this is implausibly high. It will probably go the way of the 9.5% that Beazley was supposedly going to bring to Labor when he became leader in early 2005. But its general direction does suggest that there was no need for Labor to panic and change leader (again).

It will be interesting to see how the Coalition deals with Rudd as leader. Expect Kim Beazley’s comments on the importance of experience to be regularly recycled by the Liberals.

12 thoughts on “Rudd wins

  1. I wonder if Kim thought that it might be unwise for him to make comments about (in)experience, given the possibility that Kevin was to win and their subsequent potential use by the Libs?


  2. The inexperience card won’t work for the Liberals – This is a guy who was Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss and then Director-General of QLD Cabinet Office. Given the record of mismanagement and poor governance under the Bjelke-Petersen Government, there was alot of work to be done by the new Goss Government and Rudd was right there when the work was being done. In helping to turn around QLD Rudd gained alot of experience which will be useful in his duel with Howard and in government should the ALP win in 2007. Still, I am sure the Liberals will still find something to attack him with, indeed I am sure that Liberal strategists are sitting in some chinese restaurant right now thinking of what they should do, but it will be a much harder job that they had with Latham.


  3. I think you will find Christian that his stint as Gossie’s RHM did not endear him to other members of the ALP, including the current Premier. Leaving aside that his personality might be a hindrance (although that is not the case with Howard, for some reason) I agree that he will be a harder nut to crack than Latham. And you can always count on the left to kill his chances, assuming he stands up to them.


  4. I’m sure it didn’t endear him – Because he made difficult and unpopular decisions, but decisions which needed to be made. That’s what you need in a leader and if he can do the same now then the ALP will be in with a good chance next year.


  5. Anyone who say Rudd on 7.30 report will agree that he addressed the ‘lack of experience’ claim very well and even managed to rebuke Kerry O’brien. He my not have the ‘common touch’ of Howard but in all other respoects the two are very similar – workaholics, social conservatives and with an icy, analytical intellect. .


  6. The answer to the experience issue is to point to some government snafu (eg AWB) or inaction (eg welfare-tax reform) and say: if that’s your idea of experience it isn’t good enough. This is what Whitlam did to McMahon in 1972 and Kennett to Kirner in 1992. Voters will only vote Labor if they think it’s worth their while to take a risk. Rudd’s whole theme yesterday was about the need to be bold and take a risk, his life story as a record of risks being taken and having paid off, Beazley as risk-averse and hence a loser, etc.


  7. “I wonder if Kim thought that it might be unwise for him to make comments about (in)experience, given the possibility that Kevin was to win and their subsequent potential use by the Libs?”

    If he cares about the result, that is.


  8. What Fred said, though I think Rudd’s is a different sort of intellect to Howard’s – not as good at judging people, but also less reliant on such judgments and more issue-focused. IOW even colder-hearted and harder-headed.

    And why oh why do we end up with social troglodytes as our leaders who insist on living in the past and in telling others how to live? Is the Australian electorate really like that or is it just that the political process favours old-thinking people?


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