James Forsyth

Rudderless

Rudderless
Text settings
Comments

Remarkable developments in Australian politics as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd faces a leadership challenge tomorrow. Rudd is being challenged by his deputy PM Julia Gillard, who would be Australia’s first female PM. Gillard’s strategy might be to try and replicate Bob Hawke who was elected leader of the Australian Labour party and then went to the country almost immediately afterwards winning a convincing victory.

The challenge has been triggered by Rudd going from a popular leader at the turn of the year to one who is in danger of losing office after just one term, the next election has to be held by April next year. Rudd has been hurt by a battle with the mining industry over a potentially devastating new tax on it; the industry has taken out a huge and highly effective advertising campaign against the measure. Rudd has also been all over the place on the question of a carbon trading scheme.

One British Labour source with good connections to the Australian Labour party tells me that the situation is so fluid that it is hard to predict what will happen. But there could be a new Australian leader flying to the G20 at the weekend. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articleSociety