Gillard dismisses Rudd take-over as 'rumour-mongering'
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she remains the "best person" to lead Labor to the election, dismissing talk of a return to Kevin Rudd as nothing more than "rumour-mongering".
Ms Gillard ended her silence about the latest round of leadership speculation during a visit to a school in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Despite a series of polls - external and internal - pointing to a landslide Coalition victory, Ms Gillard said her focus was on "getting things done".
She said there were no circumstances under which she would be replaced as leader.
"I will certainly be leading Labor at the next election and I will be taking to that election the clearest possible choice between a government that is investing in our nation's future," Ms Gillard said.
"Yes, there is rumour-mongering and speculation; it's wasted breath."
Ms Gillard said she had not spoken with Workplace Minister Bill Shorten since stories emerged he was facing internal pressure to move on the PM.
A number of senior Labor figures pledged their support for Ms Gillard on Tuesday, including Anthony Albanese, Craig Emerson and Wayne Swan.
The latter was also asked whether he was confident of holding the seat of Lilley, which he holds by less than 4%, with Ms Gillard as leader.
He claimed polls "don't matter a bit", adding people in his electorate were "utterly disinterested" in them.
His comments came as media research showed voters in Queensland were still angry with Ms Gillard for prematurely ending Mr Rudd's prime ministership.