Monday, 17 May 2010

The price of early popularity

You could almost detect the glee with which another set of bad opinion poll numbers for Kevin Rudd were greeted by some journalists this morning. After all, Newspoll had given them another excuse to write on their favourite topic — leadership speculation. Hence, Julia Gillard’s face was on front pages everywhere. But perhaps the following graph will give a bit of perspective to all the analysis of what Labor and Rudd’s decline in the polls actually means. It plots the advantage/disadvantage that prime ministers Keating, Howard and Rudd had on the Newspoll question of who would make the best PM during their first term in office:

What is very clear is that Rudd had an extraordinarily good response early on in his prime ministership but that even though his lead has declined substantially he is still doing very much better than his two predecessors. There is no evidence there to support Labor changing its leader.

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