Julia Gillard to head next Australian government - Macleans.ca

Julia Gillard to head next Australian government

Independent MPs leave Labor with 76 seats, Coalition with 74


Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard learned Tuesday that her party will form the next minority government after two independent candidates announced they would back her left-leaning Labor coalition. Ms. Gillard said she had no inkling that Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott would back her government until they made their joint announcement. After the August 21 general election, both the Liberal Coalition, headed by right-leaning Tony Abbott, and the Labor party, headed by Gillard, had received 72 of Australia’s 150 seats. Of the six other MPs, two are considered natural allies of the Coalition and one—the country’s first Green MP—chose to support Labor, leaving the three independents as kingmakers. Of the three independents, one announced his support for the Coalition on Tuesday afternoon, leaving Windsor and Oakeshott to decide the final tally. At a press conference shortly afterward, they announced their support for Labor. The final tally was 76 seats for Labor and 74 for the Coalition. Julia Gillard became prime minister on June 24 after the party dumped prime minister Kevin Rudd, whose popularity had fallen sharply. Gillard called an election three weeks after taking office. She is Australia’s first female prime minister.

Sydney Morning Herald

Filed under:

Julia Gillard to head next Australian government

  1. Well Julia, congratulations. You got what you wanted and what less than half the population wanted. How democratic is that?

    • I'm not sure why Australian political issues are being raised here, but anyway: the Labor Party has been able to reach the required parliamentary majority, with the assistance of independents; the Liberal-National coalition couldn't manage the same feat; as a result, Australia will have a minority Labor government. How is this not democratic?

      • Because, Random, horse trading shouldn't come into it. Or am I being delusional?

        • Nobody likes horse-trading, I guess; but if Australians had wanted either the Lib/Nats or Labor to rule in their own right, we wouldn't have had this situation. It's not pretty, but it's what we chose.

          • Since all of the Green MPs have sided with Gillard it makes sense to add their 11.7% of the popular vote which brings the total to just about 50%.

  2. Looks like PM Gillard has scraped by with the narrowest of victories. Does this mean that a byelection or two could tilt the balance of power?

    • Might not be a good idea for any of her MPs to go for a walkabout…

  3. Pity Australia. Will the new socialist hordes think of taxing visits to Bondi Beach? Might be a nice little earner.