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Hard Days And Nights: The Final 147 Days Of The Gillard Government

The Parliamentary Library has today published a research paper examining the final 147 days of the Gillard government.

The paper is written by Brenton Holmes, from the Politics and Public Administration Section of the Library.

The paper draws heavily from contemporaneous newspaper reports and the writings of journalists and other commentators. It contains 240 footnotes, many with web links. It includes chronologies of the Gillard government and tables of opinion poll results durings its term of office.

The paper is provided here in accordance with its Creative Commons licence.

Click the arrow in the viewer below for an enlarged view.

13-11-08_hard-days-and-nights-the-final-147-days-of-the-gillard-govt_holmes



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…]


“Such A Bastard”: Nicola Roxon Condemns Rudd In Button Memorial Lecture

Nicola Roxon, Health Minister throughout the first Rudd government and Attorney-General during the Gillard government, has condemned Kevin Rudd, whilst delivering the John Button Memorial Lecture, in Melbourne.

Roxon called on Rudd to leave the Parliament, “otherwise the action of any Labor leader will always be tested through the prism of popularity compared to him”.

The now retired member for Gellibrand said the removal of Rudd in 2010 was the right thing to do but was handled “very poorly”. She described Rudd’s government as one of “dysfunctional decision-making” with a “lack of strategy”. [Read more…]


2013 Federal Election Analysis: Kerry O’Brien

This is the video of ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien discussing the 2013 federal election at the Wheeler Centre on September 17.

O’Brien is the host of the ABC’s Four Corners. For many years he was the host of The 7.30 Report and Lateline. His journalistic experience dates from the Whitlam era. In the late 1970s, he was Gough Whitlam’s press secretary.

O’Brien is interviewed by Sally Warhaft.

Watch Kerry O’Brien (62m)

Listen to O’Brien and Warhaft (62m)



Why Is Kevin Rudd Still Prime Minister?

The federal election was held ten days ago. The Labor government was defeated. Tony Abbott has announced his new ministry. But Kevin Rudd is still prime minister.

Rudd will remain prime minister until tomorrow morning.

At that time, Abbott will be sworn in as prime minister and his ministers will take the oath of office.

Rudd-Abbott

Until that moment, Kevin Rudd remains caretaker prime minister, as he has been since the beginning of the election campaign.

This is quite normal.

  • In 2007, Kevin Rudd won the election on November 24 but was not sworn in as prime minister until December 3. John Howard remained prime minister until that date.
  • In 1996, the election was held on March 2 but John Howard did not replace Paul Keating as prime minister until March 11.
  • In 1983, the election was held on March 5 but Bob Hawke was not sworn in to replace Malcolm Fraser until March 11.
  • In 1949, the election was held on December 10 but Robert Menzies was not sworn in to replace Ben Chifley until December 19.

Excluding the immediate installation of Malcolm Fraser as prime minister, following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, on November 11, 1975, the fastest transfer of the prime ministership in recent decades took place in 1972. Because Gough Whitlam wanted to get down to business immediately, he was sworn in as prime minister three days after the December 2 election in which he had defeated William McMahon and the Liberal-Country Party coalition. Whitlam and his deputy, Lance Barnard, served as a two-man government until December 19.

Transferring the Prime Ministership

The process followed this year by Rudd and Abbott is part of a long tradition.

On September 8, the day after the election, Rudd tendered his resignation to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

Rudd

In resigning, Rudd surrendered his commission to the Governor-General. Bryce accepted Rudd’s resignation but asked him to remain as caretaker prime minister until the swearing-in of the new ministry.

Bryce

Rudd’s resignation will take effect the second that Abbott is sworn in. In this way, there is always a prime minister in place. [Read more…]


A Labor Leader Departs: Kevin Rudd’s Address To The ALP Parliamentary Caucus

Outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has addressed the ALP Caucus at its first meeting in Canberra since the Labor government’s defeat in the federal election last Saturday.

Rudd told the Caucus that “together we have preserved the Party as a viable fighting force for the future”.

Rudd

He praised various members of the outgoing Cabinet and said: “I understand a number of folks in recent days have been free ranging in their character analysis of me. I have not responded because I do not believe this is in the best interests of our Party and our future. And to those who have made these criticisms, I bear none of you any malice and instead hope for your and our collective success in the future.”

As the ALP prepares for a leadership ballot that will give rank and file members of the party a vote for the first time, Rudd said he was a “passionate believer in the democratisation and defactionalisation of our Party.” He said “rank and file members across the country are excited about being able to vote for their leader”.

Rudd said he accepted “full responsibility” for the outcome of the election campaign. “The buck stops with me.”

Australia’s 26th prime minister concluded his remarks by quoting the words of former US President Theodore Roosevelt on “the man who is actually in the arena”. Roosevelt paid tribute to the participant “who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly… so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat”.

Rudd said Roosevelt summed up his approach to political life “which is one of never dying wondering”. [Read more…]


Abbott Leads Coalition To Decisive Victory; Rudd Saves The Furniture And Quits ALP Leadership; Labor Loses 14 Seats With Lowest Primary Vote Since 1931

Disunity, Perceptions Of Incompetence And Waste, End Six Years Of Labor Rule; Greens Vote Drops But Bandt Wins Easily; Wilkie Secures Denison; Minor Groups Likely To Control Senate

Abbott

The Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, will become Australia’s 28th prime minister, after his Liberal-Nationals Coalition won at least an extra 16 seats in the federal election that saw the ALP’s primary vote fall to its lowest level since 1931.

There has been a 3.53% national swing against the ALP. The Coalition has polled 53.33% of the two-party-preferred vote, compared to the ALP’s 46.67%.

The Coalition is likely to govern with around 90 seats, just short of the 94 Abbott’s mentor, John Howard, won in his first victory in 1996. [Read more…]


Final Day Of Election Campaign Wraps Up

This is how Channel 7 News in Melbourne reported the final day of the 2013 federal election campaign.

  • Watch Channel 7 (6m)

Can Bill Glasson Topple Kevin Rudd In Griffith?

One of the intriguing aspects of tomorrow’s election is whether Kevin Rudd can hold on in his own seat of Griffith.

Rudd has held Griffith since 1998. He first contested it in 1996 but was defeated. His opponent this year is the former president of the Australian Medical Association, Bill Glasson.

Glasson has fought an intensive ground war in the Brisbane-based electorate over the past year. At least one opinion poll during the campaign has shown him ahead.

The ALP is struggling in Queensland. It currently holds 8 of the 30 electorates and it appears unlikely that it can win anymore. It is in danger of losing seats such as Moreton, Petrie, Lilley and Capricornia.

In the 1996 defeat of the Keating government, the ALP was reduced to two seats in Queensland (Brisbane and Rankin). In the 1975 defeat of the Whitlam government, it was reduced to one seat (Oxley).

If Labor is defeated decisively tomorrow, it is possible that Kevin Rudd could join John Howard (Bennelong 1996) and Stanley Melbourne Bruce (Flinders 1929) as the third prime minister to lose an election and his seat.

  • This video has been produced by Liberal candidate Bill Glasson’s campaign team: