In one of the most perceptive reports on the Battle for the Australian Prime Ministership and the future of the Australian Labor Party, the New York Times correspondent Matt Siegel suggests that the battle will be won ultimately by the Australian people –
From the last paragraph in a New York Times analysis Feb 28, 2012:
Ms. Gillard’s supporters may dismiss Mr. Rudd’s popularity with the electorate at their own peril, Mr. Wesley said.
“I think a really quite damaging narrative has opened up in all of this, and it’s been lost in some of the commentary,” he said, “and that’s this idea of ‘the candidate of the people versus the candidate of the party,’ and you couldn’t have had a starker difference looking at the polls this morning and looking at the results of the vote. I think that will be manifest in the election when it comes.”
Kevin Rudd has a popularity with the people by a factor of almost two times that of Julia Gillard. All commentators are quoting the polls: 53% prefer him as Prime Minister to 28% for Gillard.
From conversations with voters in Australia it is clear to me that there will be revenge of the people on the Labor Party soon unless Rudd is restored to his former post of Prime Minister.
The hubris of the current Labor Party caucus is breathtaking for its lemming-like rush over an electoral cliff. Rudd – the man most capable of standing outside the group think and cronyism of the "bunch of mates," knows this, and will have other opportunities to serve the Australian people in politics.
He may even find himself with the task of rebuilding his decimated Labor Party.