Rudd Redux: Victory And Defeat

The Parliamentary Library has issued a research paper on Kevin Rudd’s return to the prime ministership and the 2013 federal election.

Written by Brenton Holmes of the Politics and Public Administration section of the library, the 28-page paper examines the circumstances of Rudd’s return to the Labor leadership on June 26, 2013. It traces Rudd’s actions until he called the election on August 4.

APH

The paper deals selectively with events during the election campaign. A more detailed account will be published in a forthcoming research paper, Federal election 2013: issues, dynamics, outcomes. [Read more…]


Keating: Rudd Preserved Labor As A Fighting Force

Paul Keating has paid tribute to Kevin Rudd for preserving the ALP as a “fighting force” and praised the former prime minister’s policies during the global financial crisis as “an instance of international exceptionalism”.

KeatingKeating, prime minister from 1991 until 1996, said Rudd had given “profound service” to the Labor Party. Without Rudd’s “energy and leadership”, the party may not have been able to defeat John Howard, Keating said.

On Rudd’s toppling of Julia Gillard, Keating said: “Without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.”

Keating’s fulsome statement contains one factual error. Not all of Rudd’s front bench members were returned at the election. Whilst all members of the Cabinet held their seats, the Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, was defeated in Lindsay, and the Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, failed to be re-elected in South Australia.

Statement from Paul Keating.

Remarks by PJ Keating

I should like to acknowledge the profound service which Kevin Rudd has given the Labor Party.

Notwithstanding the 11 years which the Howard government had had in office, without the energy and leadership provided by Kevin Rudd, Labor may not have been able to have turned the opportunity into victory.

As a consequence, Labor had another six years in government. An important six years. Added to the 13 years of Labor between 1983 and 1996, this has meant in the 30 years since 1983, Labor has had 19 of them in office.

Kevin Rudd opened his period of office with his now famous ‘apology’ and not long thereafter, saved Australia from the fate of every other industrial economy – a deep and prolonged recession. If his government had been elected for no other reason but to have achieved this, it would have achieved much: an instance of international exceptionalism.

And without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.

And I know, notwithstanding the defeat at the last election, Kevin Rudd is comforted by the fact that all of his front bench members were returned to make the continuing case for Labor.

Kevin Rudd has much to be proud of. The Labor Party stands in his debt.

Sydney
14 November 2013


George Wright: ALP’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

The ALP National Secretary, George Wright, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 federal election.

Wright said the party’s polling had showed it was likely to lose more than 40 seats and be reduced to 30 seats under Julia Gillard. He said the ALP “cauterised” its losses by returning to Kevin Rudd. “He did make a difference,” Wright said. In the end, the ALP lost 17 seats and will have 55 members in the new House.

Wright

Disunity and division crippled the ALP’s election chances, Wright maintained. He said issues such as the carbon tax, aslyum seekers and debt were lesser order issues than Labor’s conduct in office. [Read more…]


Brian Loughnane: Liberal Party’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

Brian Loughnane, the Federal Director of the Liberal Party, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 Federal Election.

Loughnane

Loughnane told the Press Club that Labor’s change to Kevin Rudd in the lead-up to the election failed. The campaign was important in determining the final result. He said Labor’s basic problem now is “a collapse of its core support” which saw its primary vote fall 10% over the last two elections. [Read more…]


The March of Political Time

“For the times ahead” was the Victorian ALP’s slogan for last Saturday’s election. This week, if John Brumby is to be believed, the march of time defeated the 11-year-old government he led for the last three.

The March Of Political TimeIt’s odd to hear politicians and commentators talk now of the natural inevitability of a 10-year cycle for governments. True, there is a pattern of sorts since the 1980s where governments struggle to survive into a second decade. But the vast bulk of Australia’s political life since Federation is characterised by governments of remarkable longevity.

For example, on this day, December 2, in 1972, Gough Whitlam brought to an end twenty-three years of coalition rule in Canberra. Seventeen years later, in 1989, and also on December 2, Wayne Goss defeated the National Party government which had ruled Queensland with brutal certainty for thirty-two years.

The coalition’s long dominance federally between 1949 and 1972 is the most remembered example of political staying power. But the Liberals in Victoria ruled for an even longer 27 years until 1982, bookended by Labor governments led by John Cain snr and John Cain jnr. Labor has governed Victoria for 21 of the past 28 years. [Read more…]


Brian Loughnane Analyses Result Of 2010 Federal Election

The Labor government’s electoral decline began in 2008 and continued under Julia Gillard, according the Liberal Party’s Federal Director, Brian Loughnan.

Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Loughnane claimed that despite the difficulty of unseating a first-term government with all the advantages of incumbency, Tony Abbott’s “decisive leadership” made the party competitive throughout the election. [Read more…]


Karl Bitar Analyses Result Of 2010 Federal Election (Sort Of…)

Leaks and Mark Latham were primarily responsible for the ALP’s near-miss in the 2010 election, according to the ALP National Secretary, Karl Bitar.

Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Bitar said a belief that Labor would win the election, combined with disillusionment about the government’s performance, also contributed to the ALP’s campaign problems. [Read more…]