Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin
Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin Marc Stapelberg

Saffin shows loyalty to Rudd

MEMBER for Page Janelle Saffin featured prominently in last night's Four Corners piece The Comeback Kid as a loyal Kevin Rudd supporter.

The ABC's showpiece investigative program suggested Prime Minister Julia Gillard played a more significant role in the downfall of her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, than she has previously admitted.

The Daily Examiner tried to contact Ms Saffin last week about her relationship with the former Prime Minister but was unable to contact her.

One attempted phone call to Ms Saffin's mobile phone this morning rang out, but further calls will be made.

We note that Ms Saffin is consistently seen walking by Mr Rudd's side as the Canberra media pack follows the speculation of a Rudd comeback.

Below are the questions from Four Corners' reporter Andrew Fowler and Ms Saffin's responses which clearly show her support for Mr Rudd who brought Labor to power in 2007 after 11 years in opposition, taking Ms Saffin with him.

Prior to the comments below, Mr Fowler's story referred to a secret Labor party poll which showed Julia Gillard, the then Deputy PM and Education Minister, was the preferred Prime Minister.

ANDREW FOWLER: Similar polls were used to win the support of MPs in marginal seats. Janelle Saffin was warned she had to abandon Rudd for Labor to survive.

JANELLE SAFFIN, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PAGE, NSW: There were people saying it would be hard for us to win an election with the Prime Minister; and I, you know, I've been around for a while - a long term member of the Labor Party - and I thought no, we just get out there and win elections. They're all hard to win.

ANDREW FOWLER: Who specifically said to you that it would be difficult for Kevin Rudd to win the election?

JANELLE SAFFIN: Oh there were a few people who said that - people that I don't want to name, but people who said that it would be hard to do that.

ANDREW FOWLER: Janelle Saffin was confident she wasn't in trouble. She dismissed what she saw as a fear campaign.

These, comments, later in the piece prove that Ms Saffin has not given up on Mr Rudd.

ANDREW FOWLER: Crucially, if Rudd is to return to the top job, he will have to persuade those doubters that he has learned lessons - and changed.

JANELLE SAFFIN: I think all leaders grow into the job. You get elected a Prime Minister, and that... you know, you don't wake up the next morning and be a fully experienced, fully-fledged Prime Minister. Everyone has to grow into that job and work out those relationships; and to the extent that if there's any lessons to be learned, it's clear that he's learned some lessons in a very hard way.

Meanwhile, punters have moved further away from the ALP as the preferred Government, Betfair's odds for Labor winning the next election blowing out from $3.50 yesterday to $3.75 today.

Conversely, the Coalition firmed from $1.38 to $1.35.

At present, Betfair punters give Tony Abbott's Coalition a 74% chance of winning the next election with Labor considered just a 26% hope of clinging to office.

Betfair's Mathew Thompson said: "Another day, another drama for Julia Gillard and more fodder for our shrewd political punters who believe these latest revelations have further damaged the government.

"Unlike betting with the bookmakers, odds on the Betfair exchange are set by punters themselves, meaning the market acts like a real-time opinion poll of public sentiment.

It's therefore hugely significant that we've seen a drift in Labor's odds on the back of this Four Corners expose, he said.

It clearly doesn't sit well with our punters and the wider electorate.

Kevin Rudd* remains the Betfair favourite ($1.88) to be the Labor leader at the next election while Julia Gillard is at $2.30 to retain her job.


Labor                     $3.75 (26%)
Coalition                $1.35 (74%)

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