I do feel for Julia Gillard - she has had a pretty hard time of it this time around.
She made the "There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead" speech ... but that ended up biting her on the a** big time when the Greens had the balance of power - she had to do a deal with them which included a carbon tax.
But instead of saying 'that was the price of their support' - which people might have respected, she didnt. She tried to spin it ... badly.
Then the immigration thing - they have managed the issue very, VERY badly, and it has made life tough. (not debating the merits of the policies here, just how they have been handled). Labor tried with the malaysia solution and lots of other things that they came out in public with before shoring up any kind of numbers.
Its just bad management that they could not get something that they knew the independents would agree too. Whatever it was.
The mining tax - again very badly handled by the government ...
All these things are policy-on-the-run stuff where they had to mess with their ideals and compromise so much to get it through that it ends up being a complete disaster.
I am not saying the Liberals would have done any better.
A minority government is HARD and I think whoever won last time around was the biggest loser ... in that they were always going to have a crappy time in office and then a long spell in opposition as punishment.