UPDATE: Justine Elliot has ruled out any chance of returning to the frontbench in the wake of Kevin Rudd's return to The Lodge.

The Member for Richmond has been one of Mr Rudd's most loyal supporters in exile and she served as a minister in his government.

But even if Mr Rudd offered her a promotion, she would decline.Earlier this year Mrs Elliot resigned as a parliamentary secretary so she could concentrate on issues on her seat, chiefly to stop the expansion of coal seam gas in the area, and to spend more time with family.

She told APN Newsdesk this morning nothing had changed on that front.

"My main priority is … fighting for the issues in the seat first and foremost. The election is still a referendum on CSG."

Mrs Elliot said her overwhelming emotion this morning was one of relief.

The 46-year-old, who holds Richmond by 6.99%, said she was even more confident of holding her seat with Mr Rudd leading the Labor Party.

Mrs Elliot said Mr Rudd was "adored" in Richmond.

"It's been important to us for a long time to really have a strong, viable alternative to defeat Tony Abbott," she said.

"Now we have that."

Mrs Elliot said her office had already started receiving messages of support for the decision to replace Julia Gillard with Mr Rudd.

 

EARLIER: The Labor leadership spill has given the party a 5% bump in voter support, a special snap poll found in the hours following last night's caucus ballot.

Some 2530 Australians were asked for their views during the Roy Morgan snap SMS poll, finding a 5% swing bringing the Labor party within reach of another minority government.

The poll showed support for the Rudd Government was at 49.5%, up from a recent Morgan Poll conducted last week.

However, it still put the Coalition in the lead with 50.5% on the two party preferred basis.

The primary votes for both major forces were 43% for the Coalition, down 4%, and 38% support for the ALP, up 7.5%.

Support for The Greens fell 0.5% to 8.5% and support for the independents fell a full 3% to 10.5% after Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announced their retirement at the election.

>> Comment: Oh Julia, 'I'm a woman' card really was a yawn

Gary Morgan said the return of Rudd as Labor leader would put pressure on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to explain the Coalition's policies better and argue the case during the campaign.

"The question is will Rudd call an early election and rely on the honeymoon period or take longer to put together his

Cabinet and outline his policies to the electorate - policies which tackle a 'failing' economy - massive real unemployment and under-employment and falling consumer confidence," Mr Morgan said.

 

Will the return of Kevin Rudd turn the political tide for Labor?

This poll ended on 27 July 2013.

Current Results

Definitely - Labor will win the election

42%

A bit, but only for a while

12%

Probably not, there's a lot of angry people

11%

No - Labor's on the nose

33%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Kevin Rudd sworn in as Australia's Prime Minister - again

FOR the second time in his political career, Kevin Rudd was this morning sworn as Prime Minister of Australia at Government House in Canberra.

Mr Rudd was joined by key colleagues Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen, who were sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer respectively.

All three new leaders signed the Oath before Governor-General Quentin Bryce put ink to the documents, sealing Mr Rudd's return to The Lodge.

Mr Rudd told Ms Bryce he would do his "absolute best" following the signing of the documents.

The ceremony came after an extraordinary night in Canberra on Wednesday.

Within hours of rumours of a petition circulating in the Labor caucus for a special meeting, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard brought the speculation to a head by calling a leadership ballot.

But it was a ballot she would lose to Mr Rudd, and the resignations of six of her Cabinet ministers came thick and fast.

The political blood-letting included the resignations of Wayne Swan, Greg Combet, Stephen Conroy, Craig Emerson, Peter Garrett and Joe Ludwig.

In addition to the new PM, DPM and Treasurer, the spill has reopened the doors to higher office for several Rudd supporters.

Two others to be promoted were Penny Wong, who will become the first female Leader of the Senate, and Jacinta Collins the deputy.

Others who may be considered for promotion included Joel Fitzgibbon, Janelle Saffin, Ed Husic and Justine Elliot.

In a speech on Wednesday night, Mr Rudd promised to unite the Labor Party against the Opposition after holding a press conference.

He said he would take the role with "humility, honour and with an important sense of energy and purpose".

Mr Rudd paid tribute to outgoing Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who resigned via the Governor General after being bested in a ballot 57-45, and is expected to follow through on her vow to not contest the upcoming election.

He also had praise for outgoing Treasurer Wayne Swan, who he grew up with on the Sunshine Coast.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Rudd said politics had failed the Australian people, having been overwhelmed with negativity.

"The question many of you will be understandably asking is why I am taking on this challenge," he said.
"For me it's pretty basic, it's pretty clear.

"I simply do not have it in my nature to stand idly by and to allow an Abbott Government to come to power in this country by default."

He then offered a plea to young Australians, who he said had been turned off the political system.

"I understand why you have switched off," he said.

"It's hardly a surprise but I want to ask you to please come back and listen afresh.

"It's really important that we get you engaged, in any way we can. We need you. We need your energy. We need your ideas."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott took to television and radio interviews this morning to label the leadership change as more evidence of "faceless men" running the Labor Party.

"The important thing now is - what is Kevin Rudd going to do for the Australian people?" he said.

"Yes, he's had his revenge but is this all about Kevin Rudd's ego or is it about the Australian people?

"That is what we'll find out in the next day or so."

Already, television outlets and websites have been showing previews of the Coalition's upcoming Rudd-focused attack advertisement which plays footage of Labor politicians criticising the returned PM after his previous challenges to the leadership

Mr Abbott and the Opposition are also pushing for a swift decision on when the election - currently slated for September 14 - will now be held.

The change of Prime Minister was facilitated late on Wednesday night, with Governor General Quentin Bryce reported to have taken legal advice to install Mr Rudd as Prime Minister.

More changes to the Federal Cabinet are expected - already Anthony Albanese has taken Wayne Swan's role as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Penny Wong will take Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's role as Labor leader in the Senate after he quit Cabinet.

Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig resigned his post and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and both Education Minister Peter Garrett and Trade Minister Craig Emerson announced they would leave the Cabinet and not re-contest the coming election.

Environment Minister Tony Burke and Resources Minister Gary Gray are both understood to have offered their resignations but both were refused by Kevin Rudd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gillard deposed as Australia's first female PM

On Wednesday night, the Labor Party has deposed the second sitting Prime Minister from within its own ranks in little more than three years.

Dogged by internal rifts within the party for her entire prime ministership, Julia Gillard lost the caucus ballot 57-45 to Kevin Rudd - three years and three days after his reign was ended prematurely.

Attention will now turn to the federal election date.

Reports on Wednesday night indicated Mr Rudd would bring the election forward to late August.

Anthony Albanese was elected Deputy Leader, defeating Simon Crean 61-38, replacing Wayne Swan.

Penny Wong will replace Stephen Conroy as Leader in the Senate, elected unopposed, with Jacinta Collins the deputy.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and Trade Minister Craig Emerson announced in statements they were resigning from the Cabinet.

Mr Emerson will not contest the next election.

Late on Wednesday night, Ms Gillard reflected on her role as Australia's first female prime minister, and attributed in part, her political troubles to her gender.

''It doesn't explain everything, it doesn't explain nothing, it explains some things,'' she said.

Ms Gillard will return to the backbench and will leave politics altogether at the election.

She congratulated Mr Rudd and advised that she would see  Ms Bryce later in the evening to resign her commission and advise her of Mr Rudd's election.

Mr Rudd  described Ms Gillard as a 'woman of extraordinary intelligence, great strength and  energy'.

It is unknown what Bill Shorten's role might be in the Rudd Government, after he sensationally announced before the meeting he would be backing Mr Rudd.

A key factional leader, Mr Shorten was instrumental in Mr Rudd's original demise and the elevation of Ms Gillard.

The political cleanse could open new doors for former ministers Chris Bowen, Martin Ferguson and Joel Fitzgibbon, as well as more junior Rudd supporters Janelle Saffin, Justine Elliot and Ed Husic.

Mr Rudd's return to the leadership capped maybe the most extraordinary day in the life of one of the most extraordinary parliaments in Australian political history.

Earlier, the Member for Griffith said the government was on course for a "catastrophic defeat" at the next election unless there was a change.

In accepting Ms Gillard's challenge, Mr Rudd predicted the Coalition was on track to win the election by "the biggest landslide since Federation" if he was not returned.

He said he was contesting the leadership for three key reasons.

"The truth is many, many MPs have requested me for a long, long time to contest the leadership of the party because of the parlous circumstances we now face," he said.

"The second but more important reason for contesting the leadership is the tens of thousands of ordinary Australians … who have been asking for me to do this for a long time. And it's your voices … that have had a huge effect on me.

"(Third) I believe that all Australians, whatever their politics, want a real choice at this election.

"At present … they don't feel as if they've got one and they are frustrated we are denying them one."


HOW IT HAPPENED:

1.15pm: Mr Rudd supporters begin to leak news of a petition being circulated, to call for a special caucus meeting

1.30pm: Rudd camp begins briefing media that he may be ready to challenge

1.50pm: Mr Shorten's advisors say he will not be changing his support

2pm: Question Time begins, no mention of leadership

2.50pm: Mr Abbott asks Ms Gillard to bring forward election, given leadership debate

4.15pm: Ms Gillard tells Sky News she will bring on a leadership ballot at 7pm

4.20pm: Ms Gillard sets the agenda, saying she will resign if ballot lost, and Mr Rudd should do the same

5pm: Mr Rudd addresses media, agrees to the challenge from Ms Gillard

6.30pm: Mr Shorten calls press conference, announces he has changed support to Mr Rudd

7pm: Caucus meeting begins, behind closed doors

7.50pm: Final vote announced, with Mr Rudd winning 57:45

8.45pm: Anthony Albanese announced as Deputy Leader, with Penny Wong leader in the Senate

9pm: Greg Combet and Craig Emerson announce they are quitting the Cabinet
 



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