Australian head of government gillard survives a fightback vote

australian head of government gillard survives a fightback vote

In the battle for the party and government leadership, australian prime minister julia gillard on monday won a commanding victory over her rival and incumbent kevin rudd.

In a vote in the labor caucus in canberra parliament, the first woman to lead the australian government distanced her challenger by 71 votes to 31. Conservative opposition leader tony abbott called for new elections after the power tussle.

"The political drama is over. Now we are concentrating on 2013," said gillard (50). Then the elections will take place, in which the labor party had no chance of winning according to current polls. She’s down to 35 percent approval, 10 percentage points less than the opposition. Gillard leads a minority government and keeps her head above water in parliament only with the votes of greens and independents. "I think today was not so much a new start as a stay of execution," said abbott.

Rudd (54), gillard’s aubenminister until last week, conceded defeat. "The fraction has spoken," he said. "I will now give my full support to your re-election as prime minister."Just a few days ago, he had denied gillard’s ability to beat opposition leader tony abbott next year.

Rumors of rudd’s intention to challenge gillard have overshadowed politics for weeks. Last week, he stepped down and announced his candidacy for the party leadership and, by extension, the leadership of the government. He himself had been toppled by gillard just over 18 months ago. His deputy at the time, however, had the majority of mps behind her when she unexpectedly withdrew her confidence in rudd.

Rudd is more popular among the population than the sprode gillard. But that didn’t make him a good head of government, gillard said, as she canvassed for votes among caucus colleagues this morning. "Talking is easy, getting things done is harder. I am the doer."Rudd wanted to remain in parliament as a simple deputy. "Many believe he will wait and run again if labor doesn’t do better in the polls," labor politician peter beattie speculated.

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