NEWS AND VIEWS
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
GO TO OTHER DAILY EMAILS - indexed by date
Two Old Leaders Keep Their Records
Two old leaders have kept their records by the narrowest of margins as votes get closer to being completely counted from last Saturday's poll and Bob Hawke will no doubt be happier about it than Malcolm Fraser.
Back in 1983 Bob Hawke as party leader saw Labor gain 53.23% of the two party preferred vote, the highest Labor has ever recorded according to calculations by the Australian Electoral Commission on results from 1983 onwards and by the Federal Parliamentary Library back from then until 1949. For a while on election night it looked like Kevin Rudd's team would do even better but the latest AEC figure is 53.1%.
Kevin07 has no grounds for complaint because surely no non-member of parliament has ever worked harder than Hawke did during the 2007 campaign. He made appearances in marginal seats everywhere spruiking for the Labor cause.
Malcolm Fraser holds the record for being Liberal Leader when the Coalition side of politics reached its low point in 1983 of 46.77%. The fact that John Howard has sneaked past that figure to 46.9% owes nothing to his old Prime Ministerial leader. Malcolm Fraser's major contribution to the campaign was to join with another of his old Labor adversaries, Gough Whitlam, to plead for better governance by future governments than had been delivered under Mr Howard.
Gough, incidentally, can still glory in retaining his 1972 record of achieving Labor's high of 55.4%.
Kevin Rudd will surely settle for being Labor's new Queensland champion with a two party preferred share this time of 50.9%, only the second time since 1949 that Labor has gone through the 50% mark.
Labor's other election high of 56.41% came in the Northern Territory which perhaps will let Mr Rudd know what Territorians thought of federal intervention in aboriginal affairs.
A Hint from Barnaby
I wrote in the Owl yesterday that for the Nationals forsaking a future with ministerial office by returning to being a party of the country would make a lot of sense. Barnaby Joyce might just be the man to bring it about.
Senator Joyce, I note, hinted that he is aware of the potential for rejuvenation that would come by the Nationals going it alone when he raised the possibility of himself standing for the party leadership despite the convention that the leader comes from the House of Representatives.
"It's just a convention," he told The Australian as reported this morning “all you're buying a ticket for as leader of the Nationals is a hell of a lot of work. There is no reason why anyone from the Senate cannot run. In Opposition it's a loose arrangement - the deputy leader of the Opposition will be in the Liberal Party. The only job for the leader of the Nationals will be the rebuilding of the party.”