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Julia Gillard ousts Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister

Julia Gillard has ousted Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia after a 9am Labor caucus meeting which saw Ms Gillard elected unopposed after Kevin Rudd stood down.

Julia GillardJulia Gillard had long played down suggestions that she would make a move against Kevin Rudd, playing the role of a loyal deputy while even as Kevin Rudd’s poll numbers went south, but after a report emerged yesterday that ‘numbers were being crunched’ in Kevin Rudd’s office on a hypothetical challenge against Gillard, the game was on.

Dr Elizabeth van Acker from the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University believes the pace of the political change was mind blowing.

“The remarkable speed of this change is mind blowing. And also the fact, it just came to her, she didn’t have to do deals, or number crunching, she didn’t want it particularly but she had the support and she won. This time yesterday there was no public indication this would happen. ” Dr van Acker said.

“It’s exciting that finally we have a woman as PM. She will be tough. She hasn’t become the PM through quotas or because it’s time for a woman, it’s because she’s done the hard yards and shown her competency and capability to do the job. She will rise to the occasion. ” van Acker continued.

As for calling the next election, depending on initial polling for Julia as Prime Minister, it is possible that an election could be called as early as August, before Tony Abbott can mount an effective attack on the new Prime Minister.

“She should call an election straight away while the excitement, euphoria and the honeymoon period are still strong and before the opposition hammer her about difficult policy issues like the mining tax, the ETS, the education building scheme and home insulation. She should go to an election right now while she’s on a high.” She said.

The share market has reacted positively to Julia Gillard becoming Prime Minister, with mining stocks up under the belief that Gillard will most likely come to a compromise less than had been feared over the RSPT. With regards to the upcoming G20 summit in Canada, former Prime Minister Rudd was planning on attending, but Wayne Swan will now attend G20.