Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 05:56PM
Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard
On the air waves this morning we have the possibility of a change of leadership in Australia as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is well down in the popularity polls as the proposed mining tax becomes his Achilles heel.
June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose support slumped after he abandoned a carbon-trading plan and proposed taxing the mining industry, faces a leadership challenge today from deputy Julia Gillard that may cost him his job.
Rudd needs a majority of Labor lawmakers when the party meets at 9 a.m. in Canberra. Gillard, who requested the ballot yesterday after Rudd began losing support, confirmed she would seek to oust Rudd, without further comment.
While Rudd said he was “quite capable” of beating back Gillard’s challenge, one analyst, Andrew Hughes, said the prime minister was likely to lose.
“He is a goner,” said Hughes, a political analyst at Canberra-based Australian National University, in a phone interview. “It’s the most significant political downfall in Australian political history.”
Three Labor Party lawmakers, including one minister and another who heads the party’s largest faction, also predicted Rudd’s defeat. They declined to be identified because of their party affiliation.
The Australian Workers Union, which represents over 135,000 people in such industries as agriculture, construction and hospitality and favors the mining tax, endorsed Gillard yesterday.
Rudd began to slide in polls in April after he shelved his carbon-trading proposal, a key campaign pledge when he won office in November 2007. Then he proposed a 40 percent tax on the “super profits” of resource projects in Australia, the world’s biggest shipper of coal and iron ore, and refused to back down even after members of his own party objected.
UPDATE 6.25am: JULIA Gillard is the red-hot favourite to lead Labor into the next election as Kevin Rudd faces a 9am challenge to his leadership.
Mr Rudd will put his leadership to the test at 9am today in a ballot of Labor MPs that could deliver Australia its first female Prime Minister.
Opening at $1.40 when betting commenced on sportsbet.com.au last night, Ms Gillard is now $1.20 to be in charge when voters next go to the polls, while Mr Rudd’s odds have blown out from $2.70 to $4.
Well it doesnt look good at the moment for Kevin Rudd and we will know the outcome shortly. We will publish the result in the comments section as soon as we the results of this leadership challenge is over.
Have a good one.
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