Gillard hopes leadership vote will end Rudd threat
Labor Party to hold ballot on Monday as power struggle with ex-PM spills on to the world stage
Friday 24 February 2012
The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, put her job on the line yesterday, announcing a leadership ballot in hopes of quashing a comeback by Kevin Rudd, the colleague she ousted in a Labor Party coup nearly two years ago.
The vote by party lawmakers, scheduled for Monday, is an effort by Ms Gillard to triumph in a power struggle that spilled onto the world stage on Wednesday when Mr Rudd resigned as foreign minister during an official trip to the US. The fight could lead to the collapse of the government and early elections.
In Washington, Mr Rudd would not say whether he will challenge Ms Gillard in the leadership ballot, telling reporters on Wednesday night he would announce that decision when he returns to Australia today. But he said he believes the Labor Party will lose national elections scheduled for next year if Ms Gillard remains its leader.
Ms Gillard said she will abandon her leadership ambitions if Labor politicians choose Mr Rudd over her on Monday, and she called on Mr Rudd to do the same if he loses.
"We need a leadership ballot to settle this question once and for all," she told reporters in Canberra.
Analysts expect that Ms Gillard has enough support in the House of Representatives to remain in power for now, but she and her government are unpopular among voters. And Mr Rudd supporters said that even if he were to lose on Monday, he would simply build support and try again later.
A Rudd supporter, Senator Doug Cameron, said a Monday poll would be unfair because Mr Rudd would not have time to canvass support.
"It's clear that some senior ministers are intent on putting a stake through Kevin Rudd's heart and I don't think that's justified," Cameron told ABC television.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart bromance continues: X-Men star gushes about 'pussy cat' BFF Patrick Stewart
David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Hollande's affair: Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau in war of words over President's relationship with Julie Gayet
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband kit: Inside North Korea with the the Pyongyang marathon winner
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 KFC 'sorry' after lesbian couple are kicked out of Bath restaurant for 'heavy petting'
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 5 PFA Player of the Year: Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard all nominated as Liverpool dominate award shortlist
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...