January 23, 2005


Beazley leads, but PM dominant (Michelle Grattan, Andra Jackson, January 24, 2005, The Age)

Kim Beazley has a comfortable lead over his rivals, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, as the candidate the Australian public wants as Opposition leader. But as preferred prime minister he is streets behind John Howard, whose approval reached an all-time high in a weekend AgePoll.

As Mr Rudd deferred until today announcing whether he will contest Friday's caucus ballot, an ACNielsen AgePoll found Mr Beazley preferred by 38 per cent, Mr Rudd by 23 per cent, and Ms Gillard by 17 per cent.

Labor's woes are taking a big toll on its vote. The Coalition leads 57 per cent - up four points since the election - to Labor's 43 per cent on a two-party basis. The Coalition's primary vote is a huge 52 per cent, up five points. Labor has plummeted to 34 per cent.

Mr Howard's approval is at a record 67 per cent, up seven points, boosted probably by his handling of Australia's response to the tsunami crisis.

Interesting to watch the three Third Way pareties of the Anglosphere and their leaders--Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and John Howard--establish such dominance that their main rivals are nearly ceasing to exist.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2005 4:44 PM

Is the Republican Party a third-way party?

Posted by: David Cohen at January 23, 2005 6:27 PM

Yes. Compassionate Conservatism, which accepts all of the social welfare net but seeks to voucherize and privatize it, is essentially Third Way.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2005 6:56 PM

Beazley has always been a centrist and the difference between him and Howard is far smaller than that between him and Gillard, for example. Will he maintain his standard issue positions or will he kowtow to the Labor left? It might precipitate a move by the Left out of the party to the Greens and the Australian Democrats, leaving him with more rather than less room to manuever.

The Laborites are being killed in the polls in WA and NSW however.

Posted by: Bart at January 24, 2005 7:14 AM