February 27th, 2012 at 07:10am
I have been asked (not here, but elsewhere) to predict who will win today, and how many votes Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd will receive.
By the looks of it, only 102 Labor MPs will be voting today due to one of them being absent. This means that 52 votes are needed for there to be a winner. The main problem I see for both sides here is that, if the result is not a landslide (and I am not expecting a landslide) then the loser can cling on to some credibility and make this happen all over again later in the year. For stable government, a landslide is required. Without a landslide, I expect a general election within the year.
To be clear, if the loser receives more than 35 votes, then I expect to see a general election before the year is out. If the loser receives more than 45 votes, then I expect to see a general election called within the next six months.
My prediction for today is that it will be close. I expect Julia Gillard to win, but I don’t expect her to get more than 62 votes. I predict that Julia Gillard will receive between 59 and 62 votes (inclusive) and Kevin Rudd will receive between 40 and 43 votes (inclusive). If I have to pick an exact figure, then I’ll go 61-41.
I seem to be expecting a closer vote than many are, but I doubt that Kevin Rudd would have wanted this unless he knew that he could command a respectable number of votes. To the same extent, Julia wouldn’t have called the leadership spill unless she believed that she would win. I think there are enough people in the Labor ranks with fond memories of poor-but-higher poll numbers under Kevin Rudd to want to give him another chance, but not enough who want to return to his style of dictatorial leadership to make it happen.
Meanwhile, I note that Padders has interviewed a “Parliament House insider” over at The Right Aussie, and they are both expecting a much clearer victory for Julia Gillard. The “insider” is predicting a 74-28 win for Julia, while Padders is predicting a 70-32 win for Julia.
Oh, I forgot to mention what I think will happen if Kevin Rudd becomes Labor leader. That one falls squarely in the “general election to be called within six months” basket.