In a political showdown that has the nation gripping and quipping over the weekend, Julia Gillard succeeded in retaining her Labor leadership and subsequently, her position as the Prime Minister of Australia…at least until the next general election.
In a caucus vote conducted at Parliamentary House in Canberra, Gillard received 71 votes as opposed to 31 defeats of Kevin Rudd. The leadership vote was called by Julia Gillard last week to end the Australian Labor Party’s leadership crisis “once and for all”.
Labor officer Chris Hayes emerged from the Parliamentary House this morning, announcing the result: “The ballot has taken place. Julia Gillard has won the ballot 71 votes to 31.”
However, as Gillard supporters celebrate the landslide victory, the Prime Minister still faces a tough challenge to unite her divided party. While Kevid Rudd may be defeated in today’s leadership vote, he will remain as a backbencher and will still be drafted by the party at a later date.
Mr Hayes said the mood had been tense in the party room. Both Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd spoke no more than three minutes. While Ms Gillard had urged the party to come together, Mr Rudd promised to work on unifying the party.
Mr Hayes also added that there were no second counts of votes as rumoured on Twittersphere and reported in the media.
There were 102 voting caucus members today, with the exception of Michelle Rowland just had a baby and was absent today.
News and image source: The Australian.