By 2010, it seems that as PM Rudd had alienated just about everyone in the federal caucus. The calculation of those without a particular axe to grind in the caucus was “Rudd may limp to victory in the forthcoming election but we insiders know that the Rudd government is in a death spiral that will destroy the party. Perhaps a Gillard administration may save the party.”
Doubtless, the faction leaders nurtured these perceptions. But it would be very condescending to accuse these backbenchers of being incapable of sniffing the decay in the air.
It was up to Rudd to put caucus support to the test. He declined to demand a caucus vote. Rudd cannot be called a coward or an idiot. His few remaining allies must have told him what he already knew in his bones to be the truth — Kevin Rudd has negligible caucus support; a vote would reveal the magnitude of his humiliation.