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June 2013 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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June 2013 Australian Labor Party leadership spill

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Leadership election
  Kevin Rudd Julia Gillard
Candidate Kevin Rudd Julia Gillard
Caucus vote 57 45
Percentage 55.9% 44.1%
Seat Griffith (QLD) Lalor (VIC)
Faction Right Left

Leader before election

Julia Gillard

Elected Leader

Kevin Rudd

Deputy leadership election

  Anthony Albanese Simon Crean
Candidate Anthony Albanese Simon Crean
Caucus vote 61 38
Percentage 61.6% 38.4%
Seat Grayndler (NSW) Hotham (VIC)
Faction Left Right

Deputy Leader before election

Wayne Swan

Elected Deputy Leader

Anthony Albanese

A leadership spill in the Australian Labor Party, the party then forming the Government of Australia, took place on 26 June 2013 at 7:00pm AEST.[1] Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a ballot for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labor Party live on Sky News Australia at 4:00pm, following persistent leadership tensions. She stated that she would retire from politics if she lost the vote, while calling on any would-be challengers to pledge to do the same if they lost.[1][2] In a press conference held shortly after Gillard's announcement, backbencher and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that he would challenge Gillard, whilst also pledging to step down if he did not win the vote.[3][4] At the ALP caucus meeting, Rudd was elected Leader of the Labor Party, with the caucus voting 57–45 in his favour.

Following new leadership election reforms which introduced 50:50 weightage for the party membership and caucus in leadership votes subsequently implemented by Rudd, this marked the last time that the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party was elected solely by the caucus.



Despite the previous leadership spill on 21 March 2013, at which Gillard was re-elected leader unopposed, tensions continued to remain high. By 10 June 2013, the security of Gillard's position as leader was plunged into doubt following the loss of significant support in the Labor caucus, as well as persistently bad opinion polling that indicated Labor could be left with the low number of 40 seats in the House of Representatives.[5] ABC News reported that "some former staunch supporters" now held the view that Gillard could not win the upcoming election, and ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy identified former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as the only feasible replacement.[6]

The political editor of The Australian newspaper, Dennis Shanahan, reported on 10 June that Rudd had been "mobbed" by members of the public in Geelong on 7 June 2013, and that he was "expected to be returned to the ALP leadership".[7] On 26 June, rumours began to spread that supporters of Rudd were circulating a caucus petition calling for a vote to challenge Gillard for the leadership.[8] In an interview with Sky News Australia that afternoon, Gillard told interviewer David Speers that she had not seen the rumoured petition, and jokingly called it the "political equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster". She also said that nobody had approached her to advise they intended to challenge her.[1] Gillard then proceeded to call a leadership election for 7:00pm that evening to end the speculation, declaring that she would retire from politics if she lost, and called on any potential challenger to make the same commitment.

Rudd announced in a press conference shortly afterwards that he would challenge Gillard for the leadership, and committed to retiring from politics if he lost.[4] Shortly before the 7:00pm vote, influential factional leader Bill Shorten, who had first come out in support of Gillard in the 2010 and 2012 leadership spills, announced that he would support Rudd as he believed he was the person most likely to defeat Tony Abbott in the upcoming general election.[4]



102 members of the Labor caucus from the House of Representatives and the Senate were eligible to vote, with 52 votes needed to win. All caucus members voted and Kevin Rudd won the ballot by 57 votes to 45, therefore becoming Leader of the Labor Party for the second time.[9] Following the result, Deputy Leader Wayne Swan announced that he would resign his position. Anthony Albanese subsequently defeated Simon Crean by 61 votes to 38 votes, thus becoming the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party. Penny Wong was also unanimously elected to be Labor's leader in the Senate, with Jacinta Collins elected as her deputy.[10]

Rudd Gillard
Anthony Albanese [4] Sharon Bird [11]
Chris Bowen [12] Tony Burke [11]
David Bradbury [13] Stephen Conroy [14]
Gai Brodtmann [15] Greg Combet [16]
Mark Butler [17] Michael Danby [18]
Doug Cameron [19] Mark Dreyfus [11]
Bob Carr [20] Kate Ellis [14]
Kim Carr [12] Craig Emerson [14]
Darren Cheeseman [19] Don Farrell [21]
Jason Clare [22] Peter Garrett [14]
Jacinta Collins [12] Gary Gray [19]
Julie Collins [23] Chris Hayes [11]
Simon Crean [24] Yvette D'Ath [25]
Justine Elliot [26] Andrew Leigh [15]
David Feeney [23] Joe Ludwig [14]
Joel Fitzgibbon [12] Kate Lundy [14]
Martin Ferguson [12] Jenny Macklin [14]
Alan Griffin [11] Brendan O'Connor [14]
Ed Husic [19] Tanya Plibersek [17]
Stephen Jones [16] Bernie Ripoll [27]
Mike Kelly [15] Stephen Smith [14]
Geoff Lyons [23] Wayne Swan [14]
Robert McClelland [12]
Richard Marles [28]
John Murphy [29]
Shayne Neumann [23]
Deborah O'Neill [23]
Michelle Rowland [23]
Janelle Saffin [26]
Bill Shorten [4]
Sid Sidebottom [23]
Laura Smyth [19]
Kelvin Thomson [23]
Penny Wong [17]

Summary of changes

Office Predecessor Successor(s)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard MP Kevin Rudd MP
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan MP Anthony Albanese MP
Deputy Leader of the Labor Party
Treasurer of Australia Chris Bowen MP
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy Anthony Albanese MP
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig Joel Fitzgibbon MP
Trade and Competitiveness Dr Craig Emerson MP Richard Marles MP
(as Minister for Trade)
David Bradbury MP
(as Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs)
Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Brendan O'Connor MP
(as Minister for Skills and Training)
Senator Kim Carr
(as Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research)
Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet MP
Mark Butler MP
(as Minister for Climate Change)
Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Tony Burke MP Mark Butler MP
(as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water)
School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Peter Garrett MP Bill Shorten MP
(as Minister for Education)
Kate Ellis MP
(as Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth)
Regional Development and Local Government Anthony Albanese MP Catherine King MP
(as Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories)
Sharon Bird MP
(as Minister for Regional Development)
Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird MP Senator Kim Carr
(as Minister for Higher Education)
Brendan O'Connor MP
(as Minister for Skills and Training)
Employment Bill Shorten MP Brendan O'Connor MP
Financial Services and Superannuation David Bradbury MP
(as Minister Assisting for Financial Services and Superannuation)
Mental Health and Ageing

Social Inclusion
Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform

Mark Butler MP Senator Jacinta Collins
(as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing)
Housing and Homelessness Julie Collins MP
Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor MP Tony Burke MP
(as Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship)



Julia Gillard publicly congratulated Kevin Rudd on his victory, and announced her resignation as Prime Minister of Australia. In keeping with the pledge she made before the vote, she also announced that she would not seek re-election at the upcoming general election. Wayne Swan, Craig Emerson, Peter Garrett, Stephen Conroy, Joe Ludwig and Greg Combet all also announced their resignations from the cabinet.[10] Gillard submitted her resignation as Prime Minister to Governor-General Quentin Bryce that evening, to take effect the following day. Rudd was subsequently sworn in as prime minister for the second time, with Anthony Albanese being sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.[10]

On 4 August 2013, Rudd visited the Governor-General and asked her to dissolve parliament and issue writs for an election on 7 September.

At the 2013 federal election on 7 September, Rudd led Labor to defeat and resigned as Labor leader.[30]

See also



  1. ^ a b c "Gillard calls spill vote for tonight". Sky News Australia. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Australia politics: Gillard, Rudd in leadership vote". BBC News. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Rudd will stand for leadership ballot". Sky News Australia. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e Ireland, Judith (26 June 2013). "Shorten to back Rudd in leadership ballot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Julia Gillard loses significant support among caucus". ABC News. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ Cassidy, Barrie (9 June 2013). "Is Gillard's number up?". ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  7. ^ Shenahan, Dennis (10 June 2013). "Julia Gillard's leadership on the line as caucus eyes turn to Bill Shorten". The Australian. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  8. ^ Hartcher, Peter (26 June 2013). "Rudd supporters move to force leadership vote". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Labor leadership live: Kevin Rudd returns, Julia Gillard loses support of partyroom". News.com.au. 26 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Griffith, Emma (26 June 2013). "Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard 57-45 in Labor leadership ballot, paving way for a return to PM". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e Aston, Heath; Swan, Jonathan (28 June 2013). "Two agonising weeks before kingmaker turned on his queen". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Crowe, David (27 June 2013). "Kevin's loyal backers receive promotions". The Australian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  13. ^ O'Connor, Cassandra (27 June 2013). "Bradbury backed Rudd". The Western Weekender. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Farr, Malcolm (26 June 2013). "Which ministers will survive the Rudd ascendancy?". The Australian. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  15. ^ a b c Peake, Ross (27 June 2013). "'Heavy heart' but I back Rudd as PM: Kelly". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  16. ^ a b Benson, Simon; Jones, Gemma (25 June 2013). "Greg Combet reportedly tried to strike Gillard-dumping deal with Kevin Rudd in exchange for treasurer job". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  17. ^ a b c Maiden, Samantha (27 June 2013). "New Senate leader Penny Wong leads list of high-profile defectors from Julia Gillard's camp". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Rudd returning as head of Australian ruling party". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  19. ^ a b c d e Scott, Steven; Jones, Gemma (25 June 2013). "This time, the impetus for a fresh Rudd-Gillard leadership stoush comes from the PM's side". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Labor competitive under Rudd: Carr". The Australian. Australian Associated Press. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  21. ^ Elston, Rhiannon (27 June 2013). "Labor cabinet: Who is in, who is out?". SBS World News. Australia. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Labor now more competitive: Clare". SBS. Australian Associated Press. 28 June 2013. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h Crowe, David (28 June 2013). "Phone some friends: how Kevin Rudd won the day". The Australian. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  24. ^ Massola, James; Greber, Jacob (27 June 2013). "Cabinet bloodbath as loyalists quit". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  25. ^ moore, Tony (27 June 2013). "Why we had to back Rudd". The North West Star. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  26. ^ a b "'We will unite under Kevin Rudd': Page MP Janelle Saffin". ABC. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  27. ^ More, Tony (28 June 2013). "Gillard supporter concedes Rudd 'game changer'". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  28. ^ "Richard Marles hopeful Labor can win election under Rudd" (transcript). The World Today. ABC Radio. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  29. ^ Habib, Rashell (17 June 2013). "Labor MP John Murphy has said Kevin Rudd would save Labor hemorrhaging votes as Prime Minister". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  30. ^ "PM Kevin Rudd concedes defeat in election". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.