Julia Gillard, and those chiefly responsible for her elevation to the party leadership, could belatedly recover the respect of many Labor voters with a simple transparent acknowledgement of how Kevin Rudd’s removal may have looked to the watching electorate. We’ve heard the rationale, the justification, the theories about the polls, the leaks and the collapse of the Rudd brand. But we also watched the sudden clinical disintegration of a very public partnership, if not indeed a friendship, a hastily rewritten script, and the tearful public humiliation of a respected, if frail, leader. And in our hearts we said: “Something just isn’t right.” The collective numbness was palpable. And so we were left with questions about loyalty, trust, humanity and the folkloric “fair go”. The answers do not lie in more spin.
That, I suspect, is why many ordinary people voted differently.