Teddy here. ABC (Australia) is reporting the following:
Kevin Rudd has defeated sitting Prime Minister Julia Gillard to return as Prime Minister and Labor leader.
The problem has been one of polls. Gillard has been polling very poorly. So poorly that this entire process (to replace her) began only 9 hours ago. Of course, this has been a long time coming.
This all began on June 23rd, 2010. Gillard challenged Rudd for the leadership, Rudd at the time as Labor leader and Prime Minister. Rudd had passed policies that were unpopular, and, he was polling very poorly. With strong support from some influential members from Victoria and New South Wales, Gillard (despite repeatedly saying she would not) challenged Rudd for the leadership. Rudd, seeing what was coming, withdrew from the leadership spill (the name for a leadership review in Australia) and Gillard won un-opposed. Wayne Swan was elected to succeed Gillard as the Deputy Prime Minister.
There was some question to what would happen with regard to the Governor General; but Gillard and the GG agreed to a snap election, in which Gillard managed to tie Tony Abbott's coalition at 72 seats each. Gillard was able to get support from Independent members and cobble together a minority government.
The problem always was lack of support from the public. Rudd saw an opening and in February of 2012, made his own challenge to Gillard. The vote results were 71 for Gillard and 31 for Rudd. Rudd said this would be his only/last/final time challenging her.
In March of this year, another challenge made it though. Rudd however stood by his announcement that he would not stand, and Gillard was re-elected unopposed.
This brings us to today. Only 3 months from the next election, another leadership spill occurred. Rudd, this time, ran, and, won. A vote of 57 to 45 in his favour. This caused 6 people, including Wayne Swan to resign from cabinet. Labor now has a new deputy leader (by a vote of 61 to 38)
What this means is yet to be determined. This result is barely 2 hours old. Abbott will challenge this in the house it seems, and with a minority there is no guarantee that this does not mean an election. The GG may appoint Abbott as PM on the condition that he hold a snap election - which is seen as a normal thing to do in Australia - so this may be the route we are heading down. Rudd may not be able to return, officially, as Prime Minister thus, as, the official paperwork has yet to be filled out making Rudd PM once more.
Either way this certainly makes things a bit more interesting for the coming September election in Australia. I will, as always, keep you all updated.