23 June 2010
Kevin Rudd has come back from a near death experience.
Just last week, his political fortunes were looking very shakey indeed. Several highly respected journalists in the press gallery wrote him off entirely. A series of God-awful Newspolls, followed by a Nielson survey pointed to an election wipe-out. Support for Julia Gillard was higher than ever, Nervous backbenchers were briefing the media about their lack of faith in Kevin, and the miners were winning hearts and minds in the battle over the super-profits tax.
But last Sunday came the first glimmer of hope.
An initial deal with Telstra on the National Broadband Network. It's not final, but the TV pictures showed Rudd, Conroy and Tanner shoulder to shoulder with leaders of industry, who, less than a year earlier, had the knives out for him big time. It was proof a deal could be brokered, despite a tough fight.
Then, on Monday, the highly anticipated Newspoll results went off with only a whimper. Labor actually increased its two-party preferred vote.
And on Tuesday Rudd not only survived the Caucus meeting (almost certainly the last chance to change leaders before the election), but leadership didn't even rate a mention.
Now his government is getting on with policy.
Parental leave and welfare reforms are now through Parliament. Kevin Rudd appears to have a new spring in his step.
The big question is: Has the electorate already switched off? There's no point making progress, if voters don't want to hear about it.
With a Primary vote of 35%, Rudd is still in the death zone. But he may yet wriggle out of it.
Tony Abbott remains within striking distance. But his comments (later denied) that a "famous victory" was within the grasp of the Coalition - will make Rudd's task much easier.
Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been approved.
Jim Holmes, Karachi (23 June 2010 8:48PM) wrote:
I guess that this piece was written early in the day. How things change so quick.