Posts Tagged ‘Tony Burke’

Labour has given up and starts looking for Rudd’s successor

September 6, 2013

In theory I suppose the election is still there to be lost by Abbott and the Coalition.

I am biased. If I were in Australia – which I am not – I would probably prefer Abbott on policies but as an interested observer I find that my preference for Abbott is based – not so much on policies – but almost entirely on the the level of “squirm” that Rudd engenders in me. Trust is not something that politicians generally deserve but I perceive Rudd as being particularly insincere.

The betting money and the bookies are now expecting a rout.  It is no longer possible to place a bet on the outcome but Abbot may still not get his own majority in the Senate.

Sportsbet has decided the Coalition is likely to win at least 20 seats, increasing its position from 72 to at least 92 seats, giving it a hefty majority of at least 34 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives.

It has low odds of $1.85 for the Coalition to win 91 to 100 seats. The odds drift out to $2.35 for the Coalition to pick up 100 or more seats. They drift further out to $2.75 for a more constrained 81 to 90 Coalition seats. Sportsbet thus sees a landslide as much more likely than a tight election.

When you look at Sportsbet’s odds on a seat-by-seat basis, it looks even more grim for Labor, with 30 seats in danger.

But it’s not all good news for the Coalition. Sportsbet has essentially closed its books on the overall Senate election outcome. The Coalition is at long odds, $13, to win a majority in the Senate.

The politics of gridlock may thus drag on, with the Coalition declaring a mandate and the Greens and others declaring they have a mandate as a house of review.

Rudd, by party rules, has to vacate the leadership if he loses. And I suppose that it is only natural and to be expected that Labour politicians looking beyond this weekend are now beginning to position themselves for a new leader. I don’t suppose that there is a scenario which could bring Julia Gillard back. The speculation has begun though the contenders would first have to be returned in their own constituencies:

BOB Hawke has tipped Bill Shorten as the front-runner should Labor need to find a new leader.

With the Coalition looking likely to form government after tomorrow’s election, attention is turning to who may succeed Kevin Rudd as Labor leader if the ALP is defeated.

Mr Hawke said Treasurer Chris Bowen is talented but first needs to retain his seat, and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek is unlikely to be in the running.

“But she could be a candidate for the deputy. I think Tanya is a very impressive representative.”

The former prime minister was unsure if Immigration Minister Tony Burke would step forward.

“On all the indications … you would think that Bill (Shorten) has got the front running.”

Mr Rudd has vowed to stay on as the member for Griffith if Labor loses, but he would be forced by party rules to vacate the leadership and may be unlikely to renominate.

All relatively unknown names for me.

I still am of the opinion that Australia could be a major force for the region and a leader – by example – of how things can be made to work. From Japan to India. But that does require that Australia to be less of a blind “follower” of the US and to get rid of of the many trappings of the “nanny state” that have been indulged in. And that in turn requires that the leaders of the two main parties be capable of being taken seriously.

Interesting times.

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