SENIOR Labor MPs says the leadership is Julia Gillard’s for the taking before the election – if she wants it.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s control of the party has entered a treacherous phase, with Cabinet ministers and backbenchers canvassing the idea of changing leaders before this year’s federal election.
As Ms Gillard was forced yesterday to publicly deny she wanted the top job, Labor MPs described Mr Rudd as a “leader under fire” and said his prime ministership was “terminal”.
Senior Labor sources said Ms Gillard has always had the numbers to seize the leadership, but not necessarily the will to challenge for the top job.
The recent collapse of the Rudd government has been nothing short of extraordinary. To seriously think that a first term federal government could be kicked out after only one term is amazing. Now Labor MPs are supposed to be plotting the replacement of Rudd by Gillard:
Kevin Rudd’s problem is that he doesn’t really believe in anything. Successful prime ministers such as Hawke and Howard came to office with a reformist agenda which they started in their first term. The voters then reelected them to carry out their policies. Rudd’s big policy was supposed to be the ETS which he has abandoned. If he really believed in it he should have held a double dissolution. There’s no reason to believe a future Gillard government would have more fortitude.