Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Labor government facing tough Australian election
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (UPI) Jun 11, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

With less than 100 days before the Australian federal election, the governing Labor party is struggling at the polls and worried about a potentially humiliating defeat.

In the 2010 election, Labor and the opposition coalition of the Liberal and National Coalition parties each won 72 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives.

It was Labor, after gaining support from the Green Party member of the House and three independents, that formed a minority government.

Some Labor MPs are worried that bloodletting from two leadership challenges by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his recent statements could harm their chances of re-election.

Media speculation continues over what Rudd might do, although he insists he isn't interested in taking over from beleaguered Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

But Rudd, sounding and acting like the political leader he once was, has started campaigning with fellow Labor MPs whose seats are marginal in the hope his presence will boost their re-election chances, The Age reported.

Last week Rudd, who was prime minister from 2007-10, reiterated he isn't interested in Gillard's job.

However, The Age report said Rudd continues to choose his words carefully, saying he couldn't ''see any circumstances'' in which he would be prime minister again.

Before Rudd's words were there were no circumstances that would bring him back to the top Labor job.

But differences and animosities are plenty between Rudd and Gillard, who as Rudd's deputy prime minister replaced him as prime minister in a 2010 leadership challenge.

After winning the 2007 federal election, Rudd's popularity swiftly declined, thanks to dithering over implementation and finally dropping a proposed environmental carbon emissions trading scheme for industry.

There followed a brutal backlash over a proposed super tax on profits of Australia's aggressive and internationally successful mining sector.

Gillard mounted a successful leadership challenge in June 2010, becoming Australia's first woman prime minister. She called a snap national election for August 2010 in which she beat the coalition of Tony Abbott's Liberal party and the smaller National Party by putting together a coalition.

In a conciliatory move toward Rudd, Gillard installed him in her Cabinet as foreign minister, but he resigned in February 2012 and called for a labor leadership vote, which he lost in a 71-31 vote.

After another failed challenge by Rudd in March last year, he said there were no circumstance in which he would run again for the top job.

Labor's chance of re-election is looking slim. The BBC reported opinion polls suggest a defeat for Labor that could be a rout.

The BBC said some Labor officials think the party might end up with only 30 of the 150 House seats.

The BBC quoted an Australian Broadcasting Corp. political presenter saying, "Australia, it seems, isn't having an election Sept. 14, but a handover. Never before has there been this level of expectation that a government is about to be thrown out."

Main opposition leader Tony Abbott of the Liberal party recently attacked the government over its failure to stop the influx of thousands of refugees arriving in Australian waters a year and trying to claim asylum.

Abbott said he would drastically cut the number of Asylum seeker boats taken by the coast guard, ABC television news reported last week.

Around 22,000 asylum seekers arrived by boat in Australia in the past year and they are adding to the thousands others being housed in detention centers off shore and on the mainland.

Abbott said a reduction in the number of asylum seeker boats would happen in the first term of a government he headed. "We'll make a difference from day one when it comes to illegal boat arrivals to Australia," Abbott said

Some of Gillard's own party members are warning the asylum seeker issue potentially could deliver a fatal blow to their re-election.

ABC reported Sydney MP Laurie Ferguson saying border protection was a "major ingredient" in Labor's poll woes and urged Gillard to engage voters more on the subject or "we are dead" in critical western Sydney Parliamentary seats.

Gillard accused Abbott of fear-mongering over border protection.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

5 weeks after 'mini-stroke,' Algeria's leader in limbo
Algiers, Algeria (UPI) Jun 3, 2013
Five weeks ago, on April 27, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered what the government called a "mini-stroke and was whisked off to France for treatment. Government officials say he's recovering, but many people now suspect something's going on. The Algerian and French media are saying the 76-year-old president's health is deteriorating and there are rumors he's dead. ... read more

Sandbags and raw nerves as flood peak hits Germany

More radioactive leaks reported at Fukushima plant

Japan disaster cash spent on counting turtles: report

Agreement over Statue of Liberty security screening

Sony eyes long game despite console launch triumph

Two New Russian Radars to Start Work Next Year

Sony wins opening skirmish in new-gen console war

Study: Moving business software to cloud promises big energy savings

AU urges Egypt and Ethiopia to hold talks on Nile row

Unfrozen mystery: H2O reveals a new secret

Chagos Islanders lose UK marine park challenge

Egypt eyes Nile deal with Ethiopia

Ancient trapped water explains Earth's first ice age

US senators urge Obama to block Alaska mine

Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic

NASA's IceBridge Mission Contributes to New Map of Antarctica

How does inbreeding avoidance evolve in plants

How do you feed nine billion people

China approves imports of GM soybean from Brazil

Biotech crops vs. pests: Successes and failures from the first billion acres

Merkel urges greater flood protection as tours region

Germany begins to count cost as floods surge north

Merkel visits flooded region as Hungary waters recede

Earthquake acoustics can indicate if a massive tsunami is imminent

First pictures of Algeria's Bouteflika since mini-stroke

Gunfire at paramilitary barracks in Niger capital: residents

'Scorched earth' tactics in Sudan's Blue Nile: Amnesty

Rwandan general to command Mali UN force

Weapons testing data determines brain makes new neurons into adulthood

World's 'oldest woman' dies in China: family

Geneticist speculates humans could have big eyes, foreheads in future

How similar are the gestures of apes and human infants? More than you might suspect

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement