Political chronicles Western Australia January to June 2013
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts
Julia Gillard’s prime ministership was under relentless pressure during the entire first half of 2013. Opinion polls did not markedly improve for her government and dissatisfaction remained pronounced with her performance as prime minister. Her ministers began to lose confidence in her stoic leadership; caucus became increasingly nervous as the election drew closer; and the media were incessantly critical of her performance, especially the metropolitan tabloids. Some sections of the media even began to publish a regular “Ruddwatch” to monitor the every move the former PM made, likening it to a cat stalking its ill-fated prey. To make matters worse, Gillard’s party colleagues repeatedly questioned her political judgment, especially after she announced on 30 January that the next federal election would be held on 14 September 2013, giving over seven months’ notice of the poll and throwing away one of the tactical advantages of incumbency. The plan was cooked up in her private office and she apparently had not told her cabinet colleagues.