Popularity counts for nothing in politics

Kevin Rudd (left), Julia Gillard (right)

Looks like being popular counts for nothing in politics. Before completing his first term in office as Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd was overthrown by his Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and ministers who were unhappy with him.

This came as a surprise to many as Mr Rudd was thought to be a popular figure in public. But it was a different story in his own party. When he became opposition leader in 2006, Mr Rudd made it plain he would not be held to ransom by union leaders who once held so much power within the Labor Party. Now its the same people that brought him down.

The situation came to a head last night after senior factional powerbrokers from the right told Ms Gillard she had enough support to take the leadership.
The powerful Australian Workers Union, whom Mr Rudd turned his back on, and Health Services Union also quickly swung their support behind Ms Gillard as Mr Rudd’s support base collapsed. After hours of crisis meetings last night Mr Rudd emerged just after 10:00pm (Australian Eastern Time), to announce that Ms Gillard had challenged him to a ballot and that he would also stand.

And at 9:00am (AEST), Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister after Kevin Rudd decided not to contest in the leadership ballot.

I marveled at how, in 12 hours, Mr Rudd went from being the most popular Australian Prime Minister, to become the first Labor Prime Minister to be dumped from office before completing a first term.  This shows that nobody is ever safe in politics.

In this case, Mr Rudd’s overwhelming popularity counted for nothing as Ms Gillard and her cronies zipped into Parliament House, went in to his office and said ‘Good day, mate. Your time is over. Get out. Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out’



Filed under Australia, Politics

2 responses to “Popularity counts for nothing in politics

  1. seann_

    meh, rudd hasnt been the most popular guy for a very long time. his series of policy missteps have cost him his job, and frankly i think it’s about time. if labour kept him as their leader, they would just lose the upcoming elections. obviously they had to do sth.

  2. tauhuayboy

    Agreed. He made a couple of wrong moves and bam, there goes his popularity. But Ms Gillard hasn’t been voted by the people yet. So it will be interesting to see the number of votes she will be getting.

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