The State of Play on Day Five

(First published by Independent Australia)

It is unlikely that the party of Abbott, Pyne, Bishop and Hockey can win more than fifty seats now. Pyne and Hockey are involved in the framing of Slipper, Pyne and Abbott in the framing of Thomson, and Bishop useless in any debate with Bob Carr. The Palmer/Katter vote will be 35 or 40 in Queensland, where no Coalition seat will be safe.

The difficulty Abbott now has is finding an argument for his election. The high-target ministers – Gillard, Conroy, Combet, Swan, Crean – are no longer there. Nobody cares about the surplus any more. Everything Rudd is proposing is popular. Everything Abbott is proposing (sack public servants, take back schoolkids’ money, abolish Gonski, redefine disability) seems churlish. Day by day his border protection policy (pointing guns at Indonesians and telling them to go away, and shooting them if they point guns back) looks more bizarre. The religious vote lost by the atheist Gillard is back with Rudd, the family-loving churchgoer. And Abbott, after four years of hairy-chested shrieking, seems Yesterday’s Man.

What is worth saying now, at last, is the Liberal vote was soft. It was not Labor the voters were against, it was Gillard-Labor. Rudd-Labor is very comfortable as an idea with them, and what Gillard’s ministry did – NDIS, Gonski, broadband, super – was very popular. It is likely, in fact, that the Labor vote was never actually lost: it became a million Undecided.

And it is back now. And if, as I suspect, eighty percent of the Newspoll respondents are over sixty, it is probably that Labor, two party preferred, is on 52 already and rising.

Though Labor has lost some talent there are still seventeen potential Prime Ministers in its line-up – Carr, Clare, Dreyfus, Faulkner, Husic, Kelly, Lundy, Macklin, Plibersek, Shorten, Wong, Albo, Bradbury, Bowen, Burke, Butler – and on the Liberal side only one, Malcolm Turnbull.

This comparison will become more clear as the campaign warms up.

And the Liberal Party, and its loathed country cousin the LNP, is doomed.

Leave a comment ?


  1. I agree the Qld results will be interesting and that they will split the LNP vote however if there is a hung parliament again I find it hard to believe Katter/Palmer parties would not allie with LNP. Having said that Oakshott/Windsor went completely against the trend of their electorates voting. I also don’t agree with you that Katter/Palmer will preference the ALP.

    Last week has certainly brought a new dimension.

    • Katter is a personal friend of Rudd, who launched his book, and Palmer detests Newman, and Abbott.

      • Yes but Katter and Palmer are focusing on the traditional conservative voters. They are less likely to get them if those voters think it is an indirect vote for ALP. I’m not sure the results for Oakshott and Windsor at the last election would have resulted in them winning their seats if their electorate knew before hand they would side with ALP over LNP in a hung parliament. Katter chose not to go with Gillard. Would he have had it been Rudd instead?

        • Katter said he would “had it been Rudd”.

          BUT the Katter vote itself will still be interesting to see, now that Rudd’s return has taken any need for Katter to be an available haven for “anyone but Gillard” types - and there were plenty of those in his polling figures.

          I presume that the old League of Rights crazies will remain (they are the anti-fluoride, old Social Credit etc rump) as will some of the old Country Party types.

          Rudd swill have to do what I predicted the night he got elected and that was to try and neutralise the Abbott ‘Develop the North’ plan because that is also a Katter aim. He might not be able to afford to back Rudd unless that happens.

          • Funny that you should mention Social Credit Ryutin. Growing up as a young lad in Takaka, NZ, the then National President of Socred was Presley (PH) Matthews, our local electrical store owner. My father, manager of the local trucking company (TNL) was a back room boy (branch secretary), and quite often Presley, Charlie Gribben, the town postmaster (branch treasurer) and my old man would spend hundreds of hours, late into the nights nutting out economic theory. My older brother and I were drafted into the fundraising workforce, loading mauka firewood into trailers. But these men made their mark, the original Socred attained around 20% of the national vote at height, but being 1st past the post, never more than the odd seat. The ruling Nationals got seriously worried and during one election campaign, printed out all these crazy banknotes, called Social Credit “funny money” and started stuffing them into letterboxes around the country. In a nutshell, Socred was endeavoring to break the monopoly of the big banks ie, vastly reducing interest rates, availability of loans etc. My father was the youngest allied fighter pilot in WW2, known as Babe, recommissioned in the Queens Squadron after the war, he was the first NZer to fly jets, b4 eventually resigning his commission to to his wife’s terminal health condition (my mother). He was not against fluoride, he helped set up the local medical centre. among many community achievements, a true socialist, a good man. Thanks for the memory Ryutin.

            • Yes, a 1930’s depression movement actually started in NZ or just its most major impact there after an idea from Canada I can’t remember now, but my use of the word was diplomatic going by the way this blog works. The League of Rights in Australia STARTED as adherents to the social credit movement and retained its affection for it, but during and after WWII here morphed into something which held politics as far more important. Under an Eric Butler from the war era onwards into at least the 70’s was extremely controversial with the cold war era with all the associated , anti-communism, nazi sympathisers, anti-semitism, Captive Nations stuff (refugees from iron curtain countries were very active here) and so at one stage or other attached to it. They really latched onto the anti-fluoride cause too and I see they are still at it, but the political issues are still the major things for which it is remembered.

              They remained very active in Queensland for some reason (I have explanations but Queenslanders might object to them – I know them having lived there and married one of them who is now a thankfull refugee for most of the time) but you cannot forget the Bjelke Peterson era or the bite Pauline Hanson had there as do all populists such as Bob Katter. Mix that with the agrarian socialism of the old Country Party types and it is a persistent mix in that State. The Queensland nats have worked hard at times to distance themselves from them but they remain a persistent influence on the smaller landholders, as did social credit itself.

              They are a natural fit for Pauline Hanson or Bob Katter, populism yes, but not necessarily anti-semitism and certainly not fascism any more.

              • That is very well observed Ryutin. Must be the air in South Australia, gives clarity to thought. I can hear your usual detractors, jsa and DQ, going apoplectic over this. Back in the 50′s my father used to receive large parcels of info direct from the Kremlin. He abhorred communism per se, but was interested in its economic theory. Later, after the NZ Social Credit divide, he regularly exchanged ideas with Piggy Muldoon, NZ Prime Minister, ‘the ordinary bloke’.

    • Please god let there be a hung Parliament and another minority ALP government with Greens and/or socialists holding the balance of power.

      • God I hope not otherwise we are going to see continuing (Polls) pressure to change leaders which will retard the PMs attempts at bold action. This is good or bad depending which party heads the minority Govt.

      • JD, absolutely,+1. The only mature form of democracy, as per all the northern euroid countries.

    • And while we are giving free advice to Kevin Rudd, for heavens sake restore the single parents pension. I hear it is being considered.

      No paid commentator has discussed how much that hurt Gillard but the figures are there in Roy Morgan. The cuts came in 1 January 2013.

      • As Roy Morgan says in its comment on the poll published yesterday July 1:
        “This is the ALP’s largest lead since December 2012 when the ALP (52.5%) cf. L-NP (47.5%) on the eve of Christmas.”

        What happened then? The attack on single parent pensioners happened then. It had been in the pipeline for months of course, but it did not become manifest until January 1. And I think many people who new about it before didn’t really believe it would happen.

        Comparatively few people were directly affected and the Liberals would be worse… their half-smart way the ALP thought that made single parents a safe target. Politics is more complex than that.

  2. Abbott has always been Yesterday’s man, doesn’t he call himself John and Bron’s love child.

    To me that means he really is The Day Before Yesterday’s man.

    If the country wants to move forward you don’t pick stuck-in- the-mud men as your leaders.

  3. “The difficulty Abbott now has is finding an argument”

    Bang on the money Bob.

    Although I’m devastated at seeing Gillard go, what the reinstalling of Rudd has done is effectively diffuse EVERY single argument of the Liberals.
    What’s interesting to me now is will Rudd’s present “popularity” be enough or have 3 years of the corrosive inane mantra’s of Abbott already done their work?

    The only way to find out I guess is to keep policy on the front page EVERY day.

  4. Scratch Crean from your list Bob. Just come out and said he’s also not standing for re-election. Sad. I liked Crean a lot.

    • I also liked Crean. Unfortunately there may be more to come.

    • Crean is not in the list. He had his time in the sun, and new blood will be welcome.

      The hung parliament has had a wearying effect on all MPs, and the ministers in particular.

      Though some who announced their retirement early may now be regretting it, as Labor looks to be on the up.

  5. Judd… are right.Every day at every doorstop at every radio and tv interview the fact thay Abbott is hiding, refusestodebate, refuses to talk policy should be the message of the moment of the day of the week. Abbott must be shown up as the gutless policy free conman and snake oil salesman he is.

  6. I agree with posters’ comments about the efficacy of Rudd’s debate challenge. Rudd constantly calling for debates about key policy issues will put heaps of pressure on Abbott and make him look weak and gutless when the Libs agree to only one leaders’ debate prior to the election.
    Rudd has also been quick -and smart- to shore up his vote among women by increasing their representation in cabinet, so he can’t be smeared with the misogyny brush.

  7. There are now six women in cabinet, a high water mark; the newcomers appear to be promoted on merit.

    Abbott claimed this new Ministry is “not even the B team, it’s the C Team” - as opposed to Abbott’s “F Troop”, perhaps?

  8. The five days of Rudd.

    On day one Rudd had just begun
    On day two his polls up anew
    On day three a dam polling spree
    On day four polls opening even more
    On day five No more Abbott jive.

    The five days of Abbott.

    On day one Abbott knows he’s done
    On day two Abbott hasn’t got a clue
    On day three Rudd is killing me
    On day four Abbott on the floor
    On day five Abbott books another session with his psychologist.

    This weeks theme ‘Where did I go wrong? ‘

    Lame I know, it’s lunch time here and I’m eating.

  9. Malcolm Kukura

    I would’ve if I could’ve said before:

    The pro-democracy movement has come to the fore in Australia with PM Rudd re-instated reversing the coup d’etat of June 24 2010.

    It is not only here in Australia but over there offshore and everywhere all over this greed infested warming disorderly planet - democracy is being demanded.

    The now persistent uprising in Turkey has been followed by an even larger uprising in Brazil, which in turn has been followed by a less noticed, but no less real, uprising in Bulgaria. Of course, these uprisings were not the first but merely the latest in a truly worldwide series of such uprisings in recent years. There are many ways to analyze this phenomenon. I see them as the continuing process of what started as the world-revolution of 1968.

    Let us remember in this, as in everything that is happening now, that we are in the midst of a structural transition from a fading capitalist world-economy to a new kind of system. But that new kind of system could be better or worse. That is the real battle of the next 20-40 years, And how we behave here, there, and everywhere must be decided in function of this fundamental and major worldwide political battle.

    I would of if I could of said it before but Immanuel Wallerstein beat me too it – or most of it.

    • Malcom, With regards the “phenomena,” I would suggest the internet has played its part. The ability for people to communicate their ideas, from one to another. Dictatorships rely on controlling information.

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