Tuesday 23 August 2011

The independents won’t punish Labor for ditching Gillard

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 23, 11 (09:53 am)


Labor can risk changing leaders, because the independents would hate to make Tony Abbott Prime Minister.

           Niki Savva has actually asked them:
Observers and her own backbenchers believe Gillard is protected as leader because any move against her risks losing the support of the independents. So it is the other three, Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, who matter most in the Labor leadership scenario. It is clear after talking to two of them—Wilkie and Windsor—that they would look at negotiating new agreements with a new Labor leader. So would Oakeshott, according to one source....

Wilkie says he wants stable government, plus he wants his mandatory precommitment legislation on poker machines to be legislated next year…

At first he says: “I genuinely would be hard-pressed to support her replacement.” Then he adds: “I am not ruling it out, and it depends who might replace her and who the opposition leader might be."…

Windsor told me: ... “I will reassess if something happens.”
According to one MP, Oakeshott has made similar comments, making clear that if Gillard were replaced, “negotiations would start again”.

Oakeshott, who did not return calls, has also apparently floated a survival plan for the government if it gets careless and loses a member—Craig Thomson, for instance…

What is certain—as much as anything can be—is that while Tony Abbott leads the Liberals, those three independents are almost 100 per cent guaranteed not to support the Coalition.

They might be tempted if Malcolm Turnbull were leader.


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