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Key on leadership ballots

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 pm, February 27th, 2012 - 6 comments
Categories: australian politics, don brash, john key, leadership - Tags:

“I’ve been around these votes before when at the last moment they change” John Key said today about the ALP leadership ballot. He certainly has; in 2003 he promised Bill English his vote then shifted at the last minute to Don Brash who won narrowly. He was rewarded with a promotion to Finance spokesperson – not that it did Brash much good in the end.

Key also says that whoever wins the vote will have a “large repair job”. It might have already started – the latest Newspoll has Labor up four points to 47-53 on the two-party preferred and the Coalition four down – and the election is not tomorrow but eighteen months away so talk of a landslide is premature.  Gillard won this contest handsomely, found her mojo in the process, and Australia has seen why the ALP caucus chose a woman as leader. She’s consultative, focussed on delivery for people in general rather than a narrow interest, with a track record to boot.

The ALP factions fight like cats and dogs among themselves, but they are also very effective when they turn their attention onto the common enemy. Gillard’s clearly now in charge.

It won’t surprise me if the next leadership vote is in the Coalition party room,  a rerun of Turnbull against Abbott. Abbott has certainly benefited from Labor’s infighting but the attention will now turn back on him and he is not personally popular. His satisfaction numbers have gone down by five points to 31 for and 57 against. As Julia Gillard reminded him in  Question Time today he won his challenge against Turnbull by one vote.

He needed the ALP infighting to make himself look good. Around the world, conservative parties have been trying to detoxify their brand – a major reason for Key taking over from Brash after National’s 2005 defeat. Abbott is toxic Tory personified; it won’t at all surprise me if as their numbers slip the Liberal-Country coalition goes back to the more personable Turnbull.

Ironically, Key having won two elections as Labour-lite, is now also turning into toxic Tory. I doubt that he will have done himself much good across the Tasman either by talking up a close race and wanting to have a bob each way.

6 comments on “Key on leadership ballots”

  1. The liberals basic problem is that Abbott is certifiable batshit drink your own urine crazy and as time goes by more and more Aussies will realise this.

    Gillard has always impressed me as being intelligent, determined, empathic and down to earth.  These are the sorts of characteristics that continuous exposure to actually increases your chances. 

  2. Conal 2


    What’s more, Abbott’s attacks on the carbon price (the “toxic tax”) have been ludicrously hyperbolic; this scheme is supposedly going to destroy the Australian economy. When the the price actually comes into force (this year), and the sky doesn’t fall, then Tony will be exposed as just a bullshitter, and Julia will look sensible, prudent, and competent.

  3. Rob 3

    Abbott needs to watch the budgies. If he harps on too much they may mimic a canary in the coal mine!

  4. tc 4

    Yes watch Turnbull, he’s loaded and there for the power and bugger all else whilst still bitter over being turned over for the certifiable Abbott…..the liberals are in a much bigger mess than labor and with the Kevin show parked off for awhile watch that circus perform now the Oz MSM turns its relentless focus back to it.

  5. muzza 5

    Julia Gillard is one of the biggest snakes ever to be a politician – Those who fail to see that, simply can’t see she is John Key in a wig!

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