It was as if Julia Gillard didn’t see it coming. You would think, of all people, Ms Gillard would have seen the signs. Ms Gillard was caught on the back foot for almost three hours before releasing a response to Mr Rudd’s resignation speech and missed all of the important nightly news programs. Score one to Kevin.
The timing of Mr Rudd’s challenge is perfect. Mr Rudd is extremely popular in Queensland and polls suggest the state election, due to go to the polls on 24 March 2012, is all but guaranteed to swing heavily in favour of the Coalition unless there is some kind of miracle. Kevin Rudd may just be that miracle.
Numbers are being thrown around in the media and many are suggesting that Mr Rudd doesn’t have the numbers to put forward a legitimate challenge, but do you really think Mr Rudd would put forward the challenge without a significant backing to pose a serious threat to the Prime Minister? It just wouldn’t happen. Mr Rudd is too proud a man to lose such a battle. Consider the poor polling results of the ALP in recent months and the popularity of Mr Rudd vs. Ms Gillard. Now consider the importance of the key line in Mr Rudd’s resignation speech − ‘there is one over-riding question for my caucus colleagues, and that is, who is best placed to defeat Tony Abbott at the next election?’ Whether you’re an ALP or Coalition voter, it is clear that Kevin Rudd is the way forward if the ALP are to have any hope at the next Queensland state election and Australian Federal Election. After all, when all is said and done, Kevin Rudd will be seen as the Prime Minister who said sorry and lead Australia through the GFC while Julia Gillard will be the Prime Minister who lied to get into power.