2010 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

The Australian Labor Party leadership spill, 2010 occurred on 24 June 2010.[1] Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, was challenged by Julia Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party.[2] Gillard won the election unopposed after Rudd declined to contest, choosing instead to resign.[3] Gillard was duly sworn in as Prime Minister by Quentin Bryce, the Governor-General, on 24 June 2010 at Government House, becoming Australia's first female Prime Minister.

Gillard was the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party since 4 December 2006, and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Australia after Labor's landslide victory in the 2007 federal election. She was also appointed the Minister for Education and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.[4][5]

Australian Labor Party
Leadership spill, 2010
24 June 2010
  Julia Gillard
Candidate Julia Gillard
Caucus vote unopposed

Leader before election

Kevin Rudd

Elected Leader

Julia Gillard


Mark Arbib Portrait 2009
Mark Arbib of the New South Wales Right Faction.

Rudd and Gillard became Leader and Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party on 4 December 2006, during the fourth and final term of the Howard Government. The pair successfully challenged sitting Leader Kim Beazley and Deputy Leader Jenny Macklin in a joint-ticket leadership election, brought about by opinion polls suggesting that Rudd was far more popular with the public than Beazley.[6]

Under the leadership of Rudd and Gillard, Labor defeated the Liberal/National Coalition at the 2007 federal election by a landslide. The Rudd Ministry was sworn in by Governor-General Michael Jeffery on 3 December, with Rudd becoming the first Labor Prime Minister in over a decade, and Gillard becoming the first ever female Deputy Prime Minister.[7] Rudd also appointed Gillard as Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.[8]

After an initial long period of popularity, by mid-2009 significant disaffection had arisen within the Labor Party with regards to the leadership style of Kevin Rudd and the direction of the Government. By 2010, opinion polls routinely suggested that Labor would not be able to win the next election if it continued with Rudd as Leader. According to ABC's 7:30 Report', the seeds for Gillard to challenge Rudd were sown by "Victorian Right factional heavyweights" Bill Shorten MP and Senator David Feeney, who had between them secured the support of "New South Wales power broker" Mark Arbib. Feeney and Arbib discussed the matter of a potential leadership challenge with Gillard on the morning of 23 June and began a numbers count to establish the feasibility of a leadership challenge. The pair found that there was more than enough support for Gillard for the challenge to proceed.[9]

The declining ratings for both the Labor Party and Rudd personally were attributed to many factors, including problems with the Home Insulation Program, a significant delay to a planned carbon emissions reduction scheme,[10] a move to introduce mandatory internet filtering,[11] the proposed introduction of the Resource Super Profits Tax, and the election of Tony Abbott as Leader of the Opposition.[10] Senior Labor MPs conceded that the ALP's primary vote had dropped below 30% in some key marginal seats, a figure which if replicated at a federal election would have seen a Labor defeat.[12]

The leadership challenge was finally sparked after the influential Australian Workers' Union officially switched its support from Rudd to Gillard.[13] AWU Secretary Paul Howes told the Australian Associated Press and ABC's Lateline[14] that he and AWU President Bill Ludwig had decided to support Gillard as Prime Minister after making an assessment that a change in leadership was in the best interest of their membership.[15]


Better Labor Leader polling
Thinking about the leadership of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Do you think Julia Gillard will be a better leader than Kevin Rudd, a worse leader or about the same?
About the same Better leader Worse leader Uncommitted
47% 38% 9% 6%
[1] conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian. Polling (25–27 June 2010).

On the morning of 23 June 2010, NSW Senator Mark Arbib, Victorians Shorten and David Feeney, and South Australian Don Farrell visited Gillard to tell her that enough Labor MPs and Senators had lost confidence in Prime Minister Rudd to make a challenge feasible.[15] By midday, Arbib and Feeney told Gillard that they could guarantee her the support of the majority of right-wing members from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, giving Gillard enough support to win the leadership and become Prime Minister.[16]

Arbib and Feeney told Gillard that most of the Labor Party were convinced they would lose the next election if Rudd continued as Prime Minister.[16] They also said that they believed Labor would be able to win with Gillard as Prime Minister.[16] Party sources later told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that Gillard agreed that Labor faced electoral defeat with Rudd at the helm.[16]

After holding meetings throughout the evening, Rudd addressed the media at 10:30pm to announce that Gillard had asked for him to either resign as Prime Minister or hold a leadership election the following day to determine the Leadership of the Labor Party.[17] Rudd stated that a leadership election would take place the following day and that he would stand as a candidate.[1]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the final catalyst for the challenge against Rudd was "sparked by a report (in the Herald of 23 June) that Mr Rudd had used his Chief of Staff, Alister Jordan, to sound out the backbench over the past month on the level of support for him. This followed a Herald/Nielsen poll which showed the government would lose if an election were held then", and that "Rudd's action was regarded as a sign that he did not trust the repeated assurances by Ms Gillard that she would not stand".[18]


Australian Labor Party
deputy leadership spill, 2010

24 June 2010
  Treasurer Wayne Swan, 2009, crop
Candidate Wayne Swan
Caucus vote unopposed

Deputy Leader before election

Julia Gillard

Deputy Leader
after election

Wayne Swan

All 115 Labor Members of the House of Representatives and Senators were eligible to vote in the ballot. A total of 58 votes was required to secure a majority win the leadership ballot.

Whilst announcing the leadership election, Rudd initially declared that he would re-nominate himself for the leadership, even in the face of growing support for Gillard. However, by the morning of the vote it had become clear he did not have the support to secure a majority in the vote. Hours before the vote was due to take place, Rudd announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy and resigned as Leader of the Labor Party with immediate effect. This left Gillard to assume the leadership unopposed. Wayne Swan, Treasurer of Australia at the time, was elected to fill Gillard's now vacant position as Deputy Leader, also unopposed.[19][20] Rudd resigned as Prime Minister at midday, and Gillard was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Australia shortly afterwards.


On 17 July 2010, just 23 days after becoming Prime Minister, Gillard received the agreement of Governor-General Quentin Bryce to hold a snap election for 21 August 2010.[21] After a close contest between Gillard's Labor and Tony Abbott's Liberal/National Coalition, the election resulted in the first hung parliament since the 1940 election. Gillard was able to secure the support of one Green MP and three Independent MPs in order to allow Labor to form a minority government, and Gillard was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time on 14 September 2010. Kevin Rudd, who had successfully re-contested his seat at the election, accepted an offer to become Minister for Foreign Affairs.[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b Coorey, Phillip (23 June 2010). "Rudd's leadership hangs by a thread". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  2. ^ Kerr, Christian (23 June 2010). "PM Kevin Rudd calls on a showdown with Julia Gillard after leadership crisis talks". The Australian. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  3. ^ Rodgers, Emma (24 June 2010). "Gillard ousts Rudd in bloodless coup". ABC Online. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Australian Labor Party: A Ministry to Meet Australia's Future Challenges". Australian Labor Party. Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  5. ^ Rodgers, Emma (24 June 2010). "Gillard says challenge 'a tough decision'". ABC News. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Rudd replaces Beazley for Labor". Australiantimes.co.uk. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  7. ^ "PM Rudd rolls up sleeves". Theage.com.au. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  8. ^ "Department of the Parliamentary Library - Ministry". Aph.gov.au. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  9. ^ "The 7.30 Report". ABC. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  10. ^ a b Pannett, Rachel (23 June 2010). "Australia's Rudd Calls Vote on Leadership". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  11. ^ Moses, Asher (18 June 2010). "Toxic net filters 'shelved until after election'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  12. ^ Lewis, Steve (23 June 2010). "Defiant Rudd clings on to power". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Julia Gillard forces Kevin Rudd to hold leadership ballot". Herald Sun. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  14. ^ Jones, Tony (23 June 2010). "Uhlmann's take on Labor's leadership crisis". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Lateline. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  15. ^ a b O'Malley, Sandra (23 June 2010). "Gillard could topple Rudd as PM". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  16. ^ a b c d Uhlmann, Chris (24 June 2010). "Gillard poised to defeat Rudd". ABC News. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  17. ^ Hudson, Phillip (24 June 2010). "Prime Minister Julia Gillard defends role in overthrow of Kevin Rudd". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Julia Gillard, Prime Minister After Labor Leadership Challenge". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  19. ^ Kerr, Christian; Franklin, Matthew (24 June 2010). "Julia Gillard 'honoured' to become prime minister as Kevin Rudd stands aside". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  20. ^ Coorey, Phillip; Lester, Tim (24 June 2010). "Gillard becomes Australia's first female prime minister as tearful Rudd stands aside". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  21. ^ Koranyi, Balazs (17 July 2010). "Australian PM Gillard calls August 21 election". Reuters.
  22. ^ "Voters leave Australia hanging". ABC News Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 August 2010.
2006 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

A leadership spill of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) was held on 4 December 2006. Opposition Leader Kim Beazley was challenged by Shadow Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, while Deputy Opposition Leader Jenny Macklin was challenged by Shadow Health Minister Julia Gillard in a joint-ticket. Rudd defeated Beazley, after which Macklin resigned, leaving Gillard to become Deputy Leader unopposed.

2012 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, the party of government in the Parliament of Australia, was held on 27 February 2012 at 10 am AEDT, followed by a ballot. The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced the spill at a press conference on 23 February 2012, following the resignation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, from his cabinet position after months of speculation that he intended to challenge Gillard for the leadership. Rudd announced his intention to seek the leadership at a press conference on 24 February.At the leadership ballot, Gillard won by a vote of 71 to 31.

June 2013 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, the party then forming the Government of Australia, took place on 26 June 2013 at 7:00pm AEST. Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a ballot for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labor Party live on Sky News Australia at 4:00pm, following persistent leadership tensions. She stated that she would retire from politics if she lost the vote, while calling on any would-be challengers to pledge to do the same if they lost. In a press conference held shortly after Gillard's announcement, backbencher and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that he would challenge Gillard, whilst also pledging to step down if he did not win the vote. At the ALP caucus meeting, Rudd was elected Leader of the Labor Party, with the caucus voting 57–45 in his favour.

Following new leadership election reforms which introduced 50:50 weightage for the party membership and caucus in leadership votes subsequently implemented by Rudd, this marked the last time that the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party was elected solely by the caucus.

Labour Party leadership election, 2010

Labour Party leadership elections were held in the following countries in 2010:

Australian Labor Party leadership spill, 2010

Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2010

Leadership election

A leadership election is a political contest held in various countries by which the members of a political party determine who will be the leader of their party.

Generally, any political party can determine its own rules governing how and when a leadership election is to be held for that party. In the United Kingdom, for example:

Leadership elections are generally caused by the death or resignation of the incumbent (that is, the person already holding the post), although there are also formal and informal methods to remove a party's leader and thus trigger an election contest to find a replacement. There is, however, no common procedure whereby the main parties choose their leader.

A leadership election may be required at intervals set by party rules, or it may be held in response to a certain proportion of those eligible to vote expressing a lack of confidence in the current leadership. In the UK Conservative Party, for example, "a leadership election can be triggered by a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs in their current leader".

List of elections in 2010

The following elections occurred in the year 2010.

National electoral calendar 2010

Local electoral calendar 2010

United Nations Security Council election, 2010

March 2013 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, the party of government in the Parliament of Australia, was held on 21 March 2013. Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a ballot for the Leadership and Deputy Leadership of the Labor Party for 4.30pm, following a press conference by former Labor Leader and Regional Minister Simon Crean over persistent leadership tensions. At the caucus meeting, no alternative candidates nominated for the positions, and so Gillard and Wayne Swan were re-elected unopposed.

My Story (Julia Gillard autobiography)

My Story is a political memoir of Julia Gillard, who served as the 13th Deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010, and then the 27th Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013. She is the first, and to date, only woman to serve in either position. Published in 2014 by Random House Australia, My Story reflects on various personal aspects of her life and career, including her own analysis of the people and key players of the Rudd-Gillard Governments (2007–2013).

October 2013 Australian Labor Party leadership election

A leadership election was held in October 2013 to select Kevin Rudd's replacement as leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition. Bill Shorten was elected party leader, and Tanya Plibersek was later confirmed as deputy leader.The declared candidates were Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese, who were both ministers in the outgoing Labor government. Nominations closed on 20 September 2013.Under new rules, the new leader was elected by public members of the Australian Labor Party over a period of twenty days, followed by a ballot of the Labor parliamentary party. Each of these two voting blocs was weighted equally in determining the winner.

During the leadership election, Chris Bowen, former Treasurer of Australia and Member of Parliament for McMahon, was Interim Leader of the Labor Party and served as Leader of the Opposition.

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Shadow cabinets
State branches
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Labor Party
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