There's a helluva lot of chatter now about how Julia Gillard will be gone very soon. Clearly many in Labor believe that Rudd really is their best hope of saving the furniture. Some also believe they can beat the Coalition with him at the helm again.
Frankly I think this talk about him being a possible saviour is way over the top. As numerous columnists have pointed out, many of Labor's worst policy disasters actually began under him and not Gillard. And the Libs will be reminding us of that at every opportunity, no doubt. Also, the fact that he gets mobbed by fans in shopping centres doesn't necessarily mean that people will vote for him in droves.
There's something quite strange going on there, actually. It's more to do with mass hysteria than politics. It's kinda like what happens when One Direction are in town and all the schoolgirls go absolutely spacko for the cameras. Part of the reason they do that is because they've seen others do it on previous TV reports. It's a conditioned behaviour; a kind of ritual.
Another example: Gangnam Style. It's a very catchy song with a unique energy about it. And everybody has fun joining in with those signature horse-riding moves.
Being the outrageous media tart that he is, the former PM has managed to imprint his nerdy and avuncular persona on pretty much the entire Australian population. We've all seen him yucking it up with everyday Aussies in shopping centres right across the land. So taking a selfy while arm-in-arm with the Ruddster and saying "Kevin come back!" for the attendant news cameras just seems like the thing to do.
Many of the same folk being caught up in the circus-like atmosphere that surrounds KRudd on his flesh-pressing jaunts will be in a much more serious frame of mind on election day, however. As a result only his most ardent supporters will actually vote for Labor if he's the leader. And there actually aren't that many of them.
Still, decimation is preferable to near extinction. Which is why the ALP should, and almost certainly will, go back to him.