If after Julia Gillard’s decisive victory in the Labor leadership ballot today there is a revival of white-anting against her, the whole Party will explode with anger. Especially as this challenge has done so much harm; part of which will be reflected in the Queensland result on March 24. The public reaction against Labor if leadership speculation is resumed will be catastrophic. It will be branded the “New South Wales disease”. Supporters will feel betrayed. No exaggeration involved in this: ordinary Labor voters are furious and simply want their team to close ranks against Tony Abbott, a singularly unpopular Opposition Leader with bad policies. Of course there is an obligation on the PM and her ministers and her staff to start winning some goals. She and they would accept that. And there is an obligation on the National Secretariat to start the training, the coaching, the mentoring and the management of talent which is needed to lift the skills level of the next Labor generation. There is none at the moment, and it shows – although not as badly as on the Opposition. It must be the focus of Labor attack from now, not other Labor people.
For further comments from me on this challenge, click here to listen to my discussion with Jonathan Green on ABC Radio National’s ‘Sunday Extra’.