Turnbull and Rudd - qualitative analysis

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For Kevin Rudd "Job" a concept associated with performance and with approval of him, has declined in mentions, but then so too has "Action" a concept also associated with performance and with disapproval of him. At the same time "Change", which stands for "climate change" has increased in mentions. This would appear to be a favourable response to Rudd's climate change policy.

There is a battle going on over Rudd's engagement with the world and international politics. "World" has jumped significantly and is a concept associated with disapproval of Rudd. As one respondent says "He has been elected to manage Australia rather than big-noting himself all over the globe and thinking he can save the world". The word "International" also makes a first appearance. This is the term that supporters use to refer to his foreign affairs policy. "I think he is edging the party back towards the Left. He seems to be handling himself well on the international stage, and doing OK at home. He has a pleasing openness in his public persona which I thinks helps him (and by extension, Australia) a great deal."

Turnbull's problems with his party still seem to dominate, and have intensified. One of the new concepts that appears is "Rabble". "Trying" is a concept that is associated with approval of Turnbull, and the increase in the number of times it is mentioned shows that Turnbull is being seen to put in an effort. However, "try" in general usage generally infers a lack of success, so there is underlying scepticism at his likely succss.

At the same time he is marked down for being unable to handle his own party: "I prefer Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the country, but consider that he has failed to unify the Liberal Party, and, therefore, to provide effective opposition to the Government."

Turnbull supporters mention "Media" increasingly in the context that they are looking for somebody to blame for his lack of success. "I think malcom is doing an ok job but the media dont give him a break and the back benchers need a flogging - if press reprts are to be believed. I dont agree with his republican ideals but as an economic manager he has more credentials tha Rudd who stuffed Qld under the Goss government".

"Change" as in "climate change" has made a first appearance in assessments of Turnbull. Unfortunately for him, while it is general seen as positive for him that he is addressing the issue, it is also seen as problematic because it almost inevitably brings with it perceptions of conflict between him and his party: "He is doing a pretty good job, at least he has a grasp of the need to do something about climate change. Unfortunately, his support cast are a bunch of clowns starting from his deputy who couldn't organise a P&C meeting let alone make decisions affecting the whole country!"

The Leximancer concept map for preferred Prime Minister shows much the same themes as last quarter.

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Turnbull is associated with "Business", but Rudd is associated with "Team". "Party" which is positive for Rudd and negative for Turnbull is centre. As last time "Best" is more likely to be associated with Rudd, while "Better" is associated with Turnbull indicating a higher degree of confidence in Rudd. They also tend to refer to different concepts. This is illustrated by the line which runs from "best" through "person", "lead" and "party" back to "Preferred_PM_Kevin_Rudd". For Turnbull "better" is associated with "Policies". So "Best" is related to the personnel that make up Labor, while "Better" is related to the policies that Turnbull pushes.

This split suggests that the elements of a protest vote campaign may be open to Turnbull at the next election as one precondition for such a campaign is the idea that the government is the better placed to implement policies, but that they are not implementing the best policies. The opposition offers itself to the electorate not as the next government, but as an implement for policy reform.

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