Australia: leadership issues
Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called for leadership ballot today. The vote will take place at 09:00 GMT. Gillard says that she will retire from politics in case of defeat.
Gillard’s main opponent is the former Labor leader Kevin Rudd. Rudd’s supports started gathering signatures on a petition to force a vote on Gillard’s leadership, so she decided to act first.
If there is a change of leadership a number of options would then arise, including the possibility of an early election or the government changing hands to the opposition Liberal-National coalition.