Gillard our new Prime Minister

24 June 2010

Written by: Lawrie Zion

Julia Gillard is the first female Prime Minister of Australia. This morning, the now former PM Kevin Rudd stood aside rather than go through with a leadership spill, delivering the leadership of the country to his former deputy.

Kevin Rudd has been slipping in the polls for weeks after numerous policy failures and his inability to persuade the public about his new super tax on the mining industry. The Labor Party and the unions have been one and same for quite some time but this monumentous leadership change highlights the significant powers that the unions have over the political party.

The media has been speculating that a leadership challenge was on the cards. However until yesterday, all rumours were quickly denied by Gillard and fellow Labor party members.  Yesterday Paul Howes, the national secretary for the AWU, announced that the unions were supporting Julia Gillard over Kevin Rudd to lead Labor into the next election and within hours, she was in his office challenging for leadership.

The rest is now history as Julia Gillard is now Prime Minister. Paul Howes went on the ABC’s Lateline last night to continue his support of Julia telling host Tony Jones that she will be ‘one of the best prime ministers this country has ever seen’. It isn’t possible to know if Paul Howes was asked in to the studio by the ABC or if he offered his time to sell his message. Either way, a decision has been made.

Ryan Jon is upstart’s political editor.

What do you think of the change of leadership? Will Gillard make a good Prime Minister? Will the events of the past 24 hours have any impact on how you might vote in the upcoming Federal Election? Send your comments to or add your tweets to our #ozelection page.