The leaders - the July qual

The table below shows the characteristics that voters associate with each leader when asked to approve of one or the other.

Leaders_concepts_rankings_July09.gif

 

It is plain from this that Turnbull doesn't so much have a personality problem as a party one. "Leader" is mentioned a similar number of times with both men, although in Turnbull's case it is more likely than not to be in a negative context. But Party is mentioned more than twice as frequently again with Turnbull. When you look at the evidence on Party it tends to come down to lack of discipline from members of his team, and lack of authority on his own part.

A couple of quotes illustrate what I mean:

"It is alaways difficultin he first couple of years of oposition to smoth out the wants and wishes of the the opposition party. Labour surrered 12 yers of backewater oppositon."

"He is unable to lay a hand on Rudd, and consequently his party is unable to give him loyal support as a leader. There is no obvious person to replace him, so he is going to have to wait until the gloss goes off Rudd, or Labor loses its current discipline."

"Why he is struggling, but i feel that the real blame lies on the liberal party as a whole undermining party unity (wilson tuckey's recent comments as just one example of this)"

"Lacking leadership, and the ability to create a team. Appears to be only interested in control rather than planning, and certainly unable to instill teamwork in his parliamentary party."

Yet Rudd has weaknesses as well. The words "Spin", "Substance" and "Action" are generally negative. He scores well on leadership, but it is not long before respondents start mentioning negatives.

This Leximancer map shows how the concepts relate to approval of Rudd.

Approval_Rudd_Leximancer_Map_July09.gif

Those who approve of Rudd see him getting-on with the Job, in line with the last Election and showing Leadership for the good of the Country (Country being the central theme). Those who disapprove dwell on Spin and lack of Substance, and are particularly concerned about Debt and the Economy.

 

Turnbull's map is quite different.

Approval_Turnbull_Leximancer_Map_July09.gif

Utegate makes an appearance, linked closely to Judgement. However, these are not seen as being isolated concepts, but rather issues that involve Turnbull and his party "colleagues". He is also seen by those who strongly disapprove of him as being negative, arrogant and lacking in alternative policies. Rather than "Country" being the central theme "Leader" is, suggesting that respondents largest concern with Turnbull are not whether he would do the right thing for the country, but whether he has the leadership to perform credibly in his current role. Those who approve tend to blame the Media for negative coverage and compare him favourably to Rudd: he is "better" and is "trying" - not resoundingly confident sentiments.

When one looks at the use of the words "better" in the Leximancer map below, which shows what issues are determining preferences for one leader over the other, one finds it pitted against "best" which is a concept associated most strongly with Rudd

 

Preferred_PM_Preferences_July09.gif

Yet, while Rudd is the "best" to a large extent that is as a result of respondents deciding that there is no "alternative". So it is not an absolute, but a relative, judgement.

"Kevin Rudd comes across as someone who wants the best for his country, is willing to compromise, but has the strength and leadership ability to move Australia in the right direction. Malcolm Turnbull comes across as someone who has been used to having his own way, bullying all and sundry, and whose priority is Malcolm Turnbull."

"I think he is busting his boiler to be the best he can be for country. I just hope he keeps his meetings to a minimum and gets on with the business of producing results - particularly in the He this alth System."

"Whatever his weaknesses, he is the best person available, and is not doing a bad job."

"best of a bad bunch of professional conservative politicians"

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