As Ms Gillard starts what is shaping up to be her toughest week in Parliament, a review of opinion polls indicates that Mr Rudd’s three-stage siege on the Labor leadership has cost the party direct political support and could destroy it for a generation.
The review by Gillard supporters is of opinion polls before and after Mr Rudd’s two previous leadership tilts.
Its release represents a new stage in the internecine warfare between the current and former prime ministers as Labor MPs stare electoral annihilation in the face.
A senior minister has told Fairfax Media that the only certain effect of Mr Rudd’s “revenge mission” has been to send the ALP’s stocks into the basement, guaranteeing that Tony Abbott will be prime minister after the election.
The figures, based on the results of the monthly Fairfax-Nielsen poll, the fortnightly Newspoll, and others, show Labor’s standing with voters has headed south immediately following the last two raids on the top job by Mr Rudd and his backers.
Very smart work by the Gillard team to compile this. Yes Labour would be low in the polls even if Rudd’s supporters were not white-anting the Government, but his continual attcks (through proxies) on Gillard are what has driven the ALP to such a low level in the polls. Voters hate disunity.
The ALP Caucus should not reward him for his campaign.
The most recent Fairfax-Nielsen and Newspolls show Labor’s primary vote at 29 per cent and the gap widening between Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott in the preferred prime minister category.
On that poll, the ALP would win 42 seats and the Coalition 103.
Meanwhile, the Australian Services Union’s NSW secretary, Sally McManus, has confirmed that she sent an email to members asking their opinions on the Labor leadership.
“I’m not doing that in order to get any publicity about it,” Ms McManus said in a voicemail message to Fairfax Media.
“At the moment it’s between me and my members . . . Probably I’ll leave the poll open for a couple of days and after that be in a position to talk to people.”
Support from the unions is critical to Ms Gillard’s hold on power. Australian Workers’ Union boss Paul Howes in particular has backed the Prime Minister’s continuing leadership.
Isn’t it appalling outside groups get to determine who the Prime Minister and Labor Leader will be?
And NZ Labour is heading this way. In Australian Labor, the unions only have (great) influence. In NZ Labour they now get 20% of the vote.