Labor leadership decision on Monday
Following the resignation of Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister on Wednesday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a snap leadership election within the 103 Australian Labor Party (ALP) lawmakers for Monday.
Although it looks as though Gillard has a narrow majority within the lawmakers, three opinion polls suggest that the Australian people want Rudd back.
A Newspoll poll reported in The Australian newspaper puts Kevin Rudd on 53% support with Julia Gillard on 30%. Another poll by Galaxy Polling for News Limited Newspapers puts Rudd on 52% and Gillard on 26%. A third poll by Nielsen for Fairfax Newspapers puts Rudd on 58% and Gillard on 38%.
Rudd would appear to be winning against the opposition as well. The Newspoll result suggests that Rudd would get 48% of the vote in a straight fight with opposition leader Tony Abbott who is on 40%. The Galaxy poll gives Rudd 54% and Abbott 46%.
The Galaxy poll also reports that 60% of ALP supporters say he was a good leader. In a move clearly designed to back up that popularity status prior to Monday’s vote, Kevin Rudd went on a walkabout in Brisbane’s central shopping mall and was mobbed by supporters.
Rudd received further good news yesterday when Cabinet heavyweight, Anthony Albanese, Leader of the House of Representatives and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport gave his support.