A secret sealed section of the special report into the Labor’s Party performance at the May federal election blames Bill Shorten’s running style for the loss of the “unloseable” election.
In a leaked copy of the unreleased volume of their analysis of the party’s results Labor elders, former South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill and former federal minister Craig Emerson, sheet home all blame for the May 18 loss to the then federal party leader’s “embarrassingly awkward and inexplicable” running style.
“Prior to the election being called and throughout the campaign period the federal leader was regularly filmed or photographed running around Canberra or in the streets of the city or town he was visiting elsewhere,” Mr Emerson and Mr Weatherill write in the section stamped “never to be released”.
“Many political leaders wishing to give themselves the appearance of being fit for office have found it advantageous to be seen exercising or participating in some form of regular physical activity.
“This works well in most cases but in the 2019 federal campaign Bill Shorten appears to have lost votes every time he was seen running.
“Those who were questioned by the internal post-election analysis team about his appearances found it difficult to put into words any positive or coherent description of Bill Shorten’s running style.
“Most found it laughable at best and embarrassingly awkward and inexplicable at worst.
“Voters were clearly turned off by his ‘unique’ athletic style which when seen on a screen appeared to show him running backward yet forward and often sideways at the same time (pictured).”
In their confidential chapter Mr Emerson and Mr Weatherill said current Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese should not make the same mistake.
“Just to be safe, we recommend that the party’s platform be amended at the next national conference to clearly state no current or future federal leader is to indulge in any athletic behaviour whatsoever,” they wrote.
A senior Labor Party source told The Bug the top-secret section of the election post-mortem report showed the real cause of Labor’s shock loss.
“All that crap about too many policies, very complicated policies, and Bill’s general unpopularity were all just cover stories,” the source said.
“The sad fact is that Bill was running to be PM when in fact every time he was running he was running further away from the office.
“Thankfully since the TV cameras packed up and left after the election and Bill stood down as leader, nobody has seen him run an inch.
“If he has any ideas of having any sort of future in federal politics, let’s hope he keeps it that way,” the senior source said.