Is Crean running for leader?

Is Simon Crean positioning himself for a leadership challenge? Today's Australian carries the story "Simon Crean to fight plan for superannuation tax changes as internal rift deepens".

While it is unclear exactly what he intends to do, it is clear that now he is on the backbench he is prepared to destabilise the government over issues that matter.

Superannuation is a good issue to pick. According to our polling it is the last area that voters would like to see a tax increase.


1-3 choices

Minerals Resource Rental Tax


Capital Gains Tax


Company Income Tax (excluding Capital Gains tax)




Personal Income Tax (excluding Capital Gains tax)




Superannuation Taxes


This table, drawn from an adjusted sample of 1,266 voters in January, shows community acceptance of higher taxes in 7 areas (including a classification of "other") and is calculated by adding together the scores for the top three choices. The MRRT is the top most popular area for an increase, followed by capital gains tax and company tax. Even the GST has 42% support. Taxing superannuation comes in stone motherless last at 14% - only a third of this.

The Australian asks him whether he would cross the floor to oppose changes. This seems very unlikely, as unless there was a conscience vote that would lead to him being expelled from Labor.

The alternative would be a backbench revolt. But what would be the point of that? On Crean's own account the government is deeply mired in bad policy. How many revolts would he need to lead, and how long could the current leadership survive that?

Even if none of his revolts succeeds the added perception of disunity will keep driving nails into the government's election prospects.

And if the current leadership falls, who would replace it, now that Kevin Rudd definitely seems to be out of contention?

Perhaps the Rudd ambition is still present and Crean is playing a similar role to that of Kevin Andrews whose quixotic challenge to Malcolm Turnbull's leadership opened the door to Abbott's ultimately successful challenge.

Or perhaps some have decided that the almost certain loss in this year's election ought to be handed to someone who can handle it, and whose career can take another battering, and that could just be Simon Crean.

Again, our polling shows that Crean would be a credible leader, and the only credible leader who is in the latter stages of his parliamentary career where the prospect of being a long term leader has most likely evaded them.

Stephen Smith


Greg Combet


Simon Crean


Kevin Rudd


Bill Shorten


Julia Gillard



While Smith is the outright favourite (and has been since we started polling federal leaderships) and Combet is next, Crean comes in third place, statistically tied with Kevin Rudd, and ahead of Shorten and the Prime Minister. You wouldn't be sacrificing the future, or his own, if you selected Simon Crean.

And he might just be able to pull things together enough to stem the slaughter that faces Labor under current settings.

Labor isn't playing to win the next election. At the moment they are seeking to turn the next election from a pure disaster into a mitigated one. Not much of a difference, but it could shorten the time to rebuild and win another election by a term or two.


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-2 #1 RE: Is Crean running for leader?peter williams 2013-04-02 10:46
Simon Crean's treachery is an example of the big lie - ie a lie so big that it evades notice. He is close to retirement and sees a last chance to top up his super by being either deputy leader or even leader. His Trojan horse (Rudd)ran dead on him but he hasn't given up - indeed he will stoop to anything. For a man who bleats about party solidarity; traditional labor values; the need for unity etc he continues to destabilize the government despite just bringing on a farcical leadership spill. He as I see it is driven entirely by personal ambition and I for one have lost all respect for him.
-1 #2 Rubbish newsA. Cooper 2013-04-02 15:56
In the absence of news this is dragged up again. unless nth korea lets loose you will have to find some real news, because it seems obvious that julia gillard is a great leader in her own right. Anyway cream can't do it. Haven't you heard him speak? Isn't a working class accent a negative in a pm? And I wonder if he's got a big arse?
+1 #3 RE: Is Crean running for leader?ross 2013-04-03 22:31
Forget Labor.Concentra te on the platitudes from Abbotts mouth.Today he said they may not be able to wind back the taxes on your super.Previous to this he said that they may not be able to abolish the Carbon Tax.

What's the difference between Juliar and Abbott's equivocation

We need a new party that truely represents the people.
0 #4 DrChris 2013-05-18 18:20
The comment by Peter Williams is beneath contempt. As a great king once said when seen wearing a garter Honi soit qui mal y pense. If that's what you think then it reflects your own mucky mind! There is no evidence for the Crean smear and I for one am prepared to believe that politicians behave ethically most of the time.
+3 #5 MrDallas Beaufort 2013-05-18 19:27
Crean has respect while nothing will save the Green Labor banshees,
+5 #6 RE: Is Crean running for leader?Farmer Ted 2013-05-18 21:03
Simon Crean, at considerable risk to himself, stopped the speculation. That is surely not dishonourable.
-1 #7 RE: Is Crean running for leader?Grumpy Granny 2013-05-19 13:00
Where did this one come from ? :cry: I respect Simon Crean but can't see him as a Leader. I was disappointed by his resignation & felt it hurt the party. But am sure he has no thought of challenging for Leadership. Go Julia ! If only you can find some decent reporters to actually report instead or muck raking, and some good marketers to put the policies into 3 letter words, Labor might just have a chance.
0 #8 RE: Is Crean running for leader?B Harrison 2013-05-20 15:48
Crean has set himself up as an alternative leader no doubt. Now that Rudd has been eliminated as the "peoples choice" by Crean who basically told him to put up or shut up (with the caveat of being Dep. P.M) he has cleared the decks if Gillard cannot get the polls above 30%. I believe that self preservation will ultimately kick in (for the backbenchers) and while many thought what Crean had done was a "kamikaze" he also is seen by many as an honourable man and the only one capable of pulling Labor out of the mire it finds itself in. He has to the end of June to make it so and Julia has the same time frame to lift the vote above the low thirties.
0 #9 RE: Is Crean running for leader?Paul Parker 2013-05-20 18:21
Guess like many am so tired of listening to both sides, is hard to believe either.

Our vote does not decide what is the best solution.

We elect representatives to negotiate the best solution.

It's time to elect our Governor-Genera l to do this.
0 #10 Is Crean running for leader?Paul 2013-05-20 21:47
Simon Crean would make a good leader of the ALP as he could cut through where Julia Gillard no longer can. He would be able to get peopel to listen to the ALP again whereas they have stopped because of her. And as opposed to K Rudd he is not a phoney