Leadership ballot takes on the Oscars

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The Independent Online

Aware of their wafer-thin majorities, Australia's Labor MPs are pondering whether to support Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd in a Monday's leadership ballot.

Latest estimates put the Prime Minister ahead by a margin of two to one, with only a handful undecided. But with two days to go, she and Mr Rudd will be frantically working the phones.

The contest has people glued to their television screens, and on Monday morning Australians will have to choose between the party ballot and live coverage of the Oscars. Whatever the outcome of the vote, the government – with a majority of just one seat – appears to be doomed.