Julia Gillard will not stand at the next Australian election after losing a snap leadership ballot on Wednesday 26th June 2013.
Gillard called the leadership ballot after rumours circulated around Parliament that a petition for a leadership ballot was being handed round the Labor party members. The Labor leader then called a swift ballot to put an end to the speculation, saying:
“…going into this ballot tonight I think that everyone involved should accept a few conditions on the ballot, should come to understand the true significance of the ballot.
“First and foremost, anybody who believes that they should be Labor leader should put themselves forward for this ballot.
“This is it.
“There are no more opportunities.
“Tonight is the night and this is it.
“Number two, because politics is not about personality, all of these issues need to be resolved tonight.
“We cannot have the Government or the Labor Party go to the next election with a person leading the Labor Party and a person floating around as the potential alternate leader.
“In those circumstances I believe anybody who enters the ballot tonight should do it on the following conditions: that if you win, you’re Labor leader; that if you lose, you retire from politics.”
The statement was a direct challenge to Kevin Rudd, who she toppled in an analogous contest in 2010. Gillard is now expected to retire from politics after first writing to the Governor General.
After the contest, Gillard said that she hoped her time at the top of Australian politics would make it easier “for the next woman”. Kevin Rudd, too, paid tribute to her trailblazing term as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
Kevin Rudd now leads the Australian Labor Party and, in the coming days, is expected to be announced by Governor General as the new Prime Minister of Australia.