26 June 2013
Labor leadership spill: Julia Gillard v Kevin Rudd – live
Live coverage of the ALP leadership ballot, in which prime minister Julia Gillard
is standing against former PM Kevin Rudd
Prime minister Julia Gillard Photograph: Mike Bowers/Global Mail
Bill Shorten has issued a statement, just in case anyone harboured any doubts.
I believe that Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party is a once in a generation risk to Australia’s
future and would take the nation backwards.
It is the wish of the Caucus for a ballot to be held to determine the leadership of the Party.
There are 101 members of Caucus, each with a single vote to cast.
I have carefully considered my position, and have come to the view that Labor stands the
best chance of continuing
to deliver nation changing reforms under the leadership of Kevin Rudd.
I understand that this position may come at great personal cost to me, and it has weighed heavily on my mind.
I am a great admirer of Julia Gillard.
What we have managed to achieve in Government under her leadership is remarkable.
BUT the future of the nation and the Labor Party is at stake here, and therefore
I am changing my vote tonight to Kevin Rudd.
The Australian public want a choice at this coming election,
and I believe that Kevin Rudd leading us to the election gives our people, my colleagues,
the best chance of winning that election.
The achievements of the Rudd and Gillard Governments are many
– and it is these achievements that I want to fight for
– to make sure they endure, to make sure they are delivered, and to finish the job that Labor started.
If Julia Gillard wins the leadership ballot then I wish her well and offer my resignation from Cabinet.
Regardless I pledge to campaign to the utmost of my abilities to ensure that Labor
wins the election.
As I have said, this is not an easy decision for me personally. There will even be friends
who don’t agree with my decision.
But my personal view is that this is the best decision and in the best interests of Australia
and the Labor Party.
These causes are bigger than all of us individuals in this particular time of Government.
There she goes.
To the future.
Wayne Swan, Julia Gillard and Kate Lundy arrive for the caucus vote.
The Global Mail. Photograph: Mike Bowers
Team Gillard are walking in to the caucus room now.
Julia Gillard is walking with Wayne Swan, Kate Lundy, Joe Ludwig, Craig Emerson
– a number of others.
Shoulders back, big smiles.
Kevin Rudd is wandering in by himself.
Labor folks are walking down into the caucus room. The ballot box has gone in.
Mike Bowers captures the emotion in that moment brilliantly.
Bill Shorten announces he is switching to Rudd. The Global Mail.
Photograph: Mike Bowers
It will be interesting of course, should Rudd prevail in tonight’s ballot,
to see who emerges as his deputy.
(I said should he prevail. I make no calls until this is done.)
Anthony Albanese? Chris Bowen? Bill Shorten? Other.
Shorten says he will serve whomever wins tonight’s leadership ballot.
His argument is essentially that Kevin Rudd represents the best prospect for Labor
of avoiding an electoral wipeout.
So Shorten has come full circle.
He shifted against Kevin Rudd in 2010.
And now he’s shifted against Julia Gillard in 2013.
We are yet to find out of course, but that could well be a pretty reliable barometer
of how things are travelling.
I reckon Bill Shorten would always back the winning horse.
Bill Shorten declares for Kevin Rudd
What I’m about to tell you I’ve already informed our Prime Minister of.
He lists the reforms of the Gillard government.
It is the wish of the caucus there be a ballot tonight.
I have carefully considered my position.
I have now come to the view … that Kevin Rudd (should be our leader.)
Workplace Minister Bill Shorten will speak to reporters in a few minutes.
In the meantime, Rudd’s pitch was simple.
I can put up a fight against Tony Abbott.
If you stick with Julia Gillard, we’ll be wiped off the electoral map.
Gillard loyalist, the Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor.
Framing the contest.
Julia Gillard, framing tonight’s contest:
This is it. There are no more opportunities. Tonight is the night and this is it. Because politics is not about personality,
all of these issues need to be resolved tonight.
We cannot have the Government or the Labor Party go to the next election with a person leading the Labor Party
and a person floating around as the potential alternate leader.
In those circumstances I believe 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.
Enough of old politics.
Kevin Rudd’s pitch for the leadership earlier.
Power to the people. Or something like that.
Kevin Rudd announces his candidature as leader of the ALP. The Global Mail. Photograph: Mike Bowers
It’s been a day in federal politics. Welcome to our live coverage of the Labor leadership stoush from Canberra.
If you are just joining us this evening, here’s the story so far.
The day opened with news that two crossbenchers – Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott – will not contest the election in September.
Oakeshott gave the news to his local paper. Windsor announced his intentions at an emotional press conference.
The Rudd forces circulated a petition in an effort to force the Labor leadership stand-off to a conclusion.
Given the story had clearly entered a new phase, the cross bench players were asked about their disposition in the event
of a no confidence motion in the government.
Windsor signalled he would likely vote against Labor if Kevin Rudd returned to the leadership.
Oakeshott sat on the fence, as did Andrew Wilkie.
Bob Katter said he’d support Rudd, as did Craig Thomson.
The day rolled to Question Time with no clear news of whether there would be a special caucus meeting to resolve the issue,
or whether the petition had been sighted by the caucus chairman
Tony Abbott moved a suspension of the standing orders in an effort to generate debate about whether Australia should go to an election now,
not in September.
The suspension failed.
After Question Time the prime minister called a leadership ballot for 7pm this evening.
Just after 5pm, Kevin Rudd announced he would be a candidate in that ballot. Rudd said if he didn’t win the ballot,
then Labor was heading for a catastrophic defeat.
Both Gillard and Rudd say they will quit politics if they lose the ballot this evening.