Graham Richardson says Labor needs 'fire and energy'

FORMER Labor insider Graham Richardson expressed what many in political circles were thinking during the second week of the federal election campaign in an opinion piece on Friday.

Mr Richardson wrote in The Australian that if some "fire and energy" did not manifest itself inside the Labor camp, it would be "little consolation" for Rudd to claim he only lost 20 (seats) when Julia Gillard would have lost 40.

In doing so, the former Labor minister expressed the disillusionment of political insiders and voters since the disappointing leaders' debate last Sunday.

The commentator wrote that no matter where the next debate was held "it will massacred by The X Factor and deservedly so".

His opinion piece also came after former Rudd and Gillard adviser Sean Kelly wrote on the Guardian Australia website of an "odd sense of deja vu" during the campaign.

Mr Kelly wrote that both leaders thought they were running campaigns they'd already run, with Mr Rudd in a 2007 mindset while Mr Abbott was campaigning on a 2010 platform.

He wrote that to win the government needed to launch a policy that would "redefine what this election is about".

But politics analyst, Australian National University Professor John Wanna, said Labor's approach to date was looking "increasingly desperate".

He said the government was already looking at a likely loss, and if it was to avoid the loss, it would need to leave the "picking on Mr Abbott's dorky statements" alone.

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