Aussie PM Defeated in Duel to the Political Death

Rudd defeats Gillard 57-45, takes back power again

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 26, 2013 3:15 AM CDT | Updated Jun 26, 2013 7:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – The long struggle between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd for leadership of Australia's Labor Party—and subsequently Australia—is finally over, with Rudd defeating Gillard to take the reins once again. Rudd won a party caucus vote 57 to 45, after Gillard—who ousted Rudd as prime minister in 2010 and fought off a leadership challenge earlier this year—called for another leadership vote earlier today, amid growing internal opposition and slumping public support ahead of an election later this year, Reuters reports.

"Anybody who enters the ballot tonight should do it on the following conditions: that if you win you're Labor leader, that if you lose you retire from politics," Gillard said before the vote, as per the BBC. But Rudd isn't PM again just yet—the change still has to be approved by the Governor-General (the Queen's Aussie rep), and several independent and minority party members, whose support is needed to keep the Labor Party in power, have said they will support a "no confidence" vote against Rudd, the Age reports. That would leave the country in a sticky and unprecedented political situation, reports the News, one that could see the entire Parliament dissolved or conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott being installed as PM.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sits in parliament during question time in Canberra, Australia today.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard makes a statement to the media after a leadership ballot in Canberra earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks in parliament in Canberra today.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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