It is an interesting scenario. Once again there is plenty of talk about the future of Julia Gillard’s leadership, but it is being backed up by plenty of support.
And that is what makes it interesting. If Julia Gillard’s support is guaranteed, why then are union officials and her Parliamentary colleagues spending so much time talking about it?
Previously the talk had been about Labor’s inability to deliver its message and turn its policy decisions into electoral winners.
The opinion polls continue to deliver bad news, with the latest version indicating the not-so-popular Tony Abbott had taken over Julia Gillard as the
preferred prime minister.
But despite all the talk, it is not likely Ms Gillard will be ousted any time soon. In her favour is a belief that Labor cannot win the next federal election
as it has lost the trust of the Australian
Therefore, any leadership challenge would likely result in the same electoral outcome and that is not a result a new leader wants hanging over their head.
Some within Labor ranks are now saying the Prime Minister has made her bed and she will have to lie in it right up to election day.
One of the difficulties for a minority government is knowing from the start they are unpopular with at least half the voters. Under difficult circumstances, governments can either improve their standing or go backwards.
History shows minority governments usually cop an electoral backlash as there is no buffer to accommodate a change in the electoral mood.
Kevin Rudd is apparently prepared to sit on the sidelines, electing perhaps to reappear in opposition.
If the Coalition does win the next election, due in about 14 months, Tony Abbott’s leadership will come under much more scrutiny. While one-term governments are rare, some within the Labor ranks with political ambition might be looking more at the long term future, rather than short-lived tenure in the top job.
Regardless, Julia Gillard continues to lead knowing she is unpopular and proving she has not yet been able to change her party’s political fortunes in the polls.
If being Prime Minister is not hard enough, being an unpopular leader under siege must make the job all that much harder.
But no one can criticise the Prime Minister for her resilience.