Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has come out swinging against her political opponents over the weekend, expressing firm confidence that, despite recent troubles, she can still emerge victorious at the 2010 federal election.
With the next election approaching later this year, Gillard’s Labor Party is facing what some are already calling a historic defeat. Australian media are reporting that Labor expects a “drubbing” at the election, and one MP was quoted as saying that the party could lose as many as 40 seats.
But speaking yesterday on ABC TV, Gillard dismissed those predictions as defeatist, saying that while she couldn’t be sure of victory this year, she was confident that Labor would win the previous election of 2010.
“This year has been politically tough,” she said. “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that we’ve done some tough things, some unpopular things. But the fact remains that while that makes things difficult this year, we hadn’t done those things in 2010, and we can and we will win the 2010 election.”
Low-ranking Labor MPs – who stand to lose their seats later this year – found comfort in the Prime Minister’s words.
“It’s really good for us to see that she’s ready to fight,” said Robert McClelland, Labor MP for Barton. “It gives us a little something to hold onto, to hear her say that, okay, it’s going to be hard to fend off the Coalition this year, but three years ago, we can do it.”
This is wonderful hindsight from The Civilian. We're sure that today, both the New Zealand Labour Party and the Green Party which that they could be as successful as Ms Gillard will be in 2010.
On a more serious note, we recently spent some time in Australia. We chatted to a number of people about politics, both in the country and in the cities, and we can say this; there are few people indeed who will admit that they are voting for Ms Gillard's ALP in September's Federal election, and few will admit to having supported the ALP in 2010 (despite The Civilian's hindsight prediction!).
We reckon that there will be a change of government in Australia later in the year, as long as coalition leader Tony Abbott doesn't trip up. If he does the balance may turn, and there are plenty in the media waiting to pounce from all reports. But the Australian election is the coalition's to lose.
In the meantime, we will keep visiting The Civilian, now that he is unlikely to be silenced by threats of legal action from those who don't appreciate a bit of satire with their morning coffee. We thank The Civilian for the continued entertainment.