By Sarah Capper, Sheilas Editor
VOTER support for Labor has jumped to its strongest levels since the last election to put the federal government within striking distance of the Coalition …
This story appeared not two years ago, not six months ago, but less than six weeks ago, on 15 January, 2013 (in The Australian newspaper, ‘Labor starts poll year with bounce: Newspoll’ by David Crowe).
Fast forward six weeks and it’s an entirely different story, with the mainstream media’s coverage on the federal Government’s opinion poll fortunes as being incredibly dire, with doom and gloom scenarios abounding – the resurrecting of has-been Kevin Rudd leadership challenge possibilities, with commentators once again (gleefully) issuing death toll bells for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The Murdoch press has never been a great fan of the Gillard Government, with a history of editorials and columnists aplenty going on the attack throughout the course of this minority government’s duration. Following last week’s Nielsen poll, which has the gap widening between the Government and Opposition, calls for Gillard’s head were not just limited to reports by News Limited journalists.
ABC Drum columnist Barrie Cassidy noted the switch in collective commentary, writing that:
Troubling for the Government, Fairfax at varying levels has joined News Ltd in baying for Julia Gillard’s blood.
Cue Mark Baker, Alan Stokes and Waleed Aly (and a raft of others) who wrote scathing opinion pieces last week which could cause even the most ardent of social democrats to choke on their Weeties and feel that all hope was lost.
Baker: It’s time, Labor. Time to end the delusion that Julia Gillard and her battle-scarred camp followers have any chance of political resurrection. Kevin Rudd might well be a very naughty boy, but Labor has no choice but to test whether he still has the makings of a messiah. It is the only card this discredited, demoralized and dysfunctional government has left to play.
Stokes: Julia Gillard, it is time for you to make your graceful, dignified, humble, selfless exit from the prime-ministership.
Aly: Labor’s problems are not nearly so managerial and technocratic. They are much, much bigger than that. Labor’s problem is ideological. It doesn’t really mean anything any more, and probably hasn’t since Paul Keating lost power in 1996. Read the rest of this entry »