Gillard on thin ice, Rudd-Shorten team possible

Leadership tensions are reported to be growing in the federal Labor caucus in the wake of the Slipper affair.

One MP reportedly told The Australian that Julia Gillard was stubborn and that her leadership was in very big trouble.

“She needs to make some changes. She needs to change her staff (and) her communications strategy and she’s got to start listening,” the MP said.

A key source told The Australian Financial Review (AFR): “A Kevin Rudd, Bill Shorten combination has been discussed but the numbers are still not enough.”

An MP who voted for Gillard against Rudd in February told the AFR it’s hard to accept that they made a mistake in 2010 and made another one this year.

“So people are reluctant to face up to that,” the MP said.

“So that’s one reason nothing is really happening at the moment: people can’t face it and if we changed leaders they might call an election straight away and most of us would lose our seats.”

Labor sources said if the base shrank to 25% the panic button would be pushed, according to the AFR.

Gillard supporters told The Australian the PM needed to lift her game and Labor MPs are talking about Rudd just two months after the bitter leadership spill.

“It is overwhelmingly the case that all of the Prime Minister’s problems are self-inflicted,” one MP said according to the Australian.

One Gillard supporter said there might be an argument for a leadership change because the problem was not just her performance.

“This is the problem of a senior team of ministers. A new leader might not be as forgiving of their faults,” the supporter said.

Today’s Newspoll showed that Labor’s primary vote has dropped two points to 27% in the past fortnight.

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