From this report:
Sucking on a cigar, Downer presided. The Foreign Minister opened by saying the Prime Minister had asked him to get their opinions. He told the group that Howard had concerns about whether he could win the forthcoming federal election, and concerns about whether he could hold his seat of Bennelong. The Prime Minister wanted the matter resolved as soon as possible, said Downer, according to participants.
The meeting ran for about two hours but this opening statement struck the group's collective confidence with the force of an incoming howitzer shell.
The polling in this area (I'm in Bennelong) has shown him to be behind Maxine McKew for months.
One of my personal worries: What is Rudd's policy on mandatory detention of asylum seekers? I'm not aware that it's any different from the government's. But perhaps the next immigration minister will be able to bring in something more humane.