Election date – election campaign

Kevin Rudd is in a highly unusual situation. He is acting as an Opposition Leader while being Prime Minister. This greatly affects the calculus of election dates and, in particular, the duration of the official election campaign.

The minimum official election period is 33 days after the issues of writs for the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

Rudd is presently benefiting as a Prime Minister campaigning while not in caretaker mode. Due to these unusual circumstances, I strongly expect that he will choose the shortest possible election campaign.

If the election date is 31 August, that means he does not have to visit the Governor General until Monday 29 July 2013. Why should he visit the Governor General today, 21 July, if he can campaign for another week as the Prime Ministerial Opposition Leader?

Unless he chooses a 24 August election date.

For the record, I still think the election will be in October. Rudd has many weaknesses, and one is indecision. He also wants to attend that G20 meeting in September. The current polls appear to indicate a roughly 50/50 chance of Rudd winning the election. His hubris will not tolerate this – he wants to have a significantly higher chance to win. While his lieutenants will be recommending an earlier election, Rudd will continue to think that his stocks will climb the longer he remains in office.

That’s a strange personality conflict: hubris and overconfidence in his own ability, but underlying uncertainty in decision-making.

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24 Responses to Election date – election campaign

  1. Makka

    “That’s a strange personality conflict: hubris and overconfidence in his own ability, but underlying uncertainty in decision-making.”

    Not if you are a narcissistic , micro managing , psychotic , ego maniac, pathological liar. Rudd can easily accomplish all of that.

  2. Armadillo

    I’m hoping for 24th August SJ. I think he will wait until tomorrow when polls are released (to confirm he’s leading) and that he’s “appeared” to slay the union beast in Balmain. It’s all about momentum.

  3. Ant

    Rudd’s campaigning as an “opposition leader” as if he can whitewash away 5 years of self inflicted Labor disaster and incompetence, which he firstly initiated and turbo-boosted with a couple of years of undermining and agitating from the shadows?

    Does he really think Australians are that stupid? Yes.

    Even making allowances for all the Labor blinkered butt-kissing going on from the media class, the fact that the polls are showing its fairly even, I have to conclude he’s right.

  4. stackja

    Election date – election campaign – election result. Kev’s head will explode conceding to Tony.

  5. Anthony

    It really is all about momentum. If Rudd doesn’t opt for an August date he’ll be well and truly stuffed. He won’t last another month at or around 50-50. The wheels will fall off the PNG “Arrangement”, it’s already wobbling. The FBT/ETS sleight of hand is obvious. Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. No matter how hard they try to disguise it, the LABOR Rudd/Gillard/Rudd disaster is still the government.

  6. Jim Rose

    see http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2013/07/election-timing-and-the-issues-of-election-writs.html

    the election is usually announced a day or two before the dissolution and issue of the writs. This is because of the time it takes to co-ordinate the legal rituals surrounding the process.

    …A proclamation has to be issued dissolving the House of Representatives. The writ initiating the 150 House elections and the Senate elections for the ACT and Northern Territory have to be prepared and then signed by the Governor General.

    In addition, the state Governors have to be located and instruction given to them through the formal channels to issue writs for the half-Senate elections.

    All this takes time, though some of it can be prepared in advance so in theory, Kevn Rudd could ask the Governor-General to be in Sydney on 22 July so he can head over to Admiralty House after the caucus with the pre-prepared writs to call the election. But it would all be a bit rushed, and still run into potential problems with locating the state Governors.

  7. one old bruce

    I always like your posts, SJ. You make some excellent points. It is said that a lot of economics is psychology, or group psychology. Something similar applies in the study of politics, where we additionally have to study the leadership pathology: those unusual individuals like eg. Rudd. It’s still a sparse field I think, from Carlyle through Hannah Arendt, because the study of such leader pathology may have tapered off after WWII – surprisingly. Should be plenty of material for a book study titled ‘The Pathology of Leadership’ from recent Australian and US experience, including a critique of leftist assumptions about ‘leadership’.

    You make a good start here.

  8. Samuel J

    Thank you Bruce, that is very kind. Of course I could be eating my words soon!

  9. Giffy

    I like the way Anthony has put it.
    “… the LABOR Rudd/Gillard/Rudd disaster is still the government ..”

  10. Johno

    Of course I could be eating my words soon!

    Full marks for being prepared to make predictions. I prefer to whim out.

    Part of KRudd’s calculus has to be whether he knows that what he has put out there are quick fixes designed to neutralise Tony Abbott’s very effective campaign against the government or whether he thinks he has actually fixed the problems. If he knows they are quick fixes, then he knows he has to rush to the polls before all of the problems emerge. Unless he believes he can answers the problems that will arise.

    If he believes he has actually fixed the problems, then he will want to delay going to the polls so the electorate can see that he can deliver solutions.

  11. Splatacrobat

    From the other thread which I think everyone has moved on from so my apologies.

    Near the end of the Qld election campaign the polls and MSM were saying it was too close to call and even in the last week it was being predicted that Newman may not even scrape in. How wrong they were. I have full confidence in a coalition win and by a huge margin.
    Remember for very seat Labour loses (which they are certain of at least 5) they have to win two just to maintain the status quo, which is A MINORITY!

    Windsor & Oakeshott.
    Thompson
    At least 3-4 seats where the incumbent is retiring so they will have a no name on the ticket. (Swan for one)
    At least 3-4 NSW seats given a euthanasia injection over ICAC and NSW Labor disease.
    At least 3-4 WA/NT seats because of the recent state/Territory elections
    At least 2 Tas seats because Tas Labor is on the nose.
    At least 2 seats in SA because (see above Tasmania).
    Finally the more talk of another hung parliament the better I say. Those swinging voters who voted for Gillard last time will have no stomach for being the catalyst of another parliament run by the well hung Rudd.

  12. FriendofFish

    Recall Parliament and wedge Tony on the carbon tax first.

  13. Aaron

    At least 3-4 seats where the incumbent is retiring so they will have a no name on the ticket. (Swan for one)

    Swan isn’t retiring and is contesting his seat of Lilley. Although he did look very poorly in a small clip I saw on Insiders.

    I think the Coalition can win several seats in NSW, Tasmania and South Australia due to the unpopularity of the Labor ‘brand’ in those states. Victoria should yield a few seats like Corangamite and La Trobe and they should pick up Perth following Steven Smith’s retirement and Lingiari in the NT.

    The real battle will be in Queensland where the Rudd factor should get a swing to the ALP but most of the Coalition members are well-liked and they may be able to hold out. I think very marginal seats like Brisbane may be lost due to Greens preferencing the ALP but the gains elsewhere in the country should outweigh any losses in the Brisbane metro. This is assuming Rudd goes to the polls in August, I think if he delays he will lose his honeymoon surge in QLD.

  14. Mark

    I was of the firm opinion he would go as late as possible and soak up all the authority he could from the job seeing as Gillard and her supporters appear to have suffered a meltdown and are offering no resistance to his demi-god reign and proposals.

    Having seen that poll that put Turnbull clearly ahead of him as preferred PM he might just pull the trigger early to ensure he faces off against Abbott. He is a coward at heart after all. All his “fixes” are also paper thin and are rhetorical devises and ruses – he probably will not want his authority to legislate them be tested and shown wanting or his capabiities tested in implementing them.

    I have done a Labor and flip-f;opped. It will be August – w/e weekend takes his fancy.

    (Note: I am not advocating a switch to Turnbull)

  15. Splatacrobat

    I think very marginal seats like Brisbane may be lost due to Greens preferencing the ALP but the gains elsewhere in the country should outweigh any losses in the Brisbane metro.

    Do you think the Greens will still preference Labor after the PNG announcement? It’s Time Abbott really sunk the boot into Milne and SHY and called them out on where they stand on supporting Labor’s lurch to the right with asylum seekers.

  16. Pickles

    Ted Nugent on 60 min.

  17. Greg J

    Frankly, Samuel J, after your woeful post the other day about getting rid of Abbott for Turnbull, I’m not sure I quite trust your judgment any more.

    But, then again, redemption is available to us all I suppose.

    Cheers

  18. Gab

    I’m tipping writs will be issued around 26th October.

  19. Louis Hissink

    “His fixes” ????? Rudd is the puppet, methinks, for the behind the scenes organising to have ads etc all fall like a planned set of domino’s smells much like the planned re-election of Obama last year.

    We should stop wasting time on Rudd – he’s the distraction I suspect to keep our eye off the real ball in play, whatever that is.

  20. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “This is assuming Rudd goes to the polls in August, I think if he delays he will lose his honeymoon surge in QLD.”

    Queenslanders are politically half asleep at the best of times Aaron. Most of ’em would be saying “Rudd’s back, that’s good, he’s from Queensland. Who’s playing the Broncos / Titans / Cowboys this weekend?”

    The Courier Mail and Channel 7 TV News (and the others, I imagine) are running interference for him by targeting Campbell Newman daily, under the direction of Comrade Fishwife Palzczczck, so anything un-smiley, un-good-feely he does from day to day gets airbrushed.

    Only about 23 people are sufficiently literate to read the paper anyway, and most rely on moving pictures for advice on how to get through the day.

    I say he’ll do much better than they hoped for in Queensland.

  21. Aaron

    The Courier Mail and Channel 7 TV News (and the others, I imagine) are running interference for him by targeting Campbell Newman daily, under the direction of Comrade Fishwife Palzczczck, so anything un-smiley, un-good-feely he does from day to day gets airbrushed.

    Yes you’re right Mick, the Courier Mail has long waged a campaign against the LNP and that works in Rudd’s favour. I remember being shocked that Palaszczuk was married to Megalogenis but on reflection I really shouldn’t be surprised. It’s a shame the federal Coalition don’t really have anyone of good Queensland pedigree and profile on the front bench to campaign heavily in that state. Unless they want to wheel out Peter Dutton but he’ll be busy holding Dickson.

  22. Up The Workers!

    RIPLEY’S – BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

    Out of one million of his father’s sperm, Kev Kardashian was once (but ONLY once!) actually the quickest!

  23. It will be August – w/e weekend takes his fancy.

    With a minimum of 33 days between call and poll IIRC, he’s running out of weekends on that score!

    What is he thinking? Is it:
    1) He wants to preen in front of the G20. He’s a dead cert to win (in his own mind), and the preening would be most effective if he wore the laurel crown of a fresh electoral victory. RESULT: EARLY ELECTION.

    2) He wants to preen in front of the G20. But he acknowledges the possibility that he might lose, and he wouldn’t want to make his exit before strutting one more time on the world stage. Also, his presence there might give him a poll bounce that could help boost him over the line. RESULT: EARLY OCTOBER ELECTION (33 days after his return).

    3) He wants to preen in front of the G20. But the polls are not looking all that good, and the wheels are starting to come off some of his promises. The defeat which Labor was heading for just before it brought him back looms. Publicity and hobnobbing might yet save him, so off to the party he goes. Because of his own uncertainty, he opts to go as caretaker Prime Minister with the election due the weekend after he gets back. That way any positive publicity accruing has the maximum effect, but his caretaker status means he’s not bound by anything unpleasant which might be decided there. RESULT: EARLY/MID SEPTEMBER ELECTION.

    4) The wheels come off the wagon in the next few days after this post. The sugar hit is over and either because Abbott has just landed a nasty clip on his glass jaw, or because his former allies in the Greens and the Press have turned on him as the PNG solution’s details come out and the dysfunctionality leaks multiply (see Bolt’s blog today about the Swan leaks), he’s staggering. Defeat is certain. But if he calls the election now, AbbottAbbottAbbott666 will get to go to the G20 in his place and hobnob. That just won’t do! *Sound of foot stamping.* Like the spoiled child he is, he decides to defer the election until just after the G20 and (to avoid the embarrassment of being a dead man walking on the world stage) sends Bob Carr to Moscow in his place.

    All this depends on whether he feels ready to face Abbott in Parliament.

    If he declines to face Abbott in Parliament, he must call the election before Parliament resumes and perforce go to the G20 as Caretaker Prime Minister.

    If he does not want to go as Caretaker Prime Minister, he must face Abbott in Parliament.

    Would he dare to test the waters in Parliament and then call a snap election if things are going wobbly for him?

    How blind is he to the problems which are emerging with his schemes?

  24. Correction:

    If he declines to face Abbott in Parliament, he must either go to the G20 as Caretaker (if he wants to guarantee his attendance) or take a gamble on the result of an election.

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