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article imageAustralian Labor split hits the fan as new challenge starts

By Paul Wallis     Jun 26, 2013 in Politics
Sydney - The Rudd vs. Gillard third round is now underway, with Labor Caucus members circulating a position to allow Kevin Rudd to challenge for leadership of the Australian Labor Party. If Mr. Rudd wins, there are also legal hurdles to jump to become PM again.
This is the last sitting week of Parliament before the September election. If anything is going to happen, it has to be done soon. A month of sniping between Gillard and Rudd supporters has effectively forced a showdown.
Gillard is being blamed for the party’s poor polls, which are at abysmally low levels. That’s been the major catalyst for the Rudd revival. Indications are that key Gillard supporters and Labor powerbrokers have changed their previously stonewall opposition to Rudd.
The Australian Labor Party includes left and right factions, with an oligarchy of senior factional leaders. The factional wars have previously caused bitter debate. The big rift in the party which brought Gillard to power has never really healed. Rudd supporters have remained less numerous but steadfast for years. The political tide is now shifting in favour of Rudd inside the party and away from Gillard.
Media coverage has been frenzied. These are some of the current news feeds:
Sydney Morning Herald live commentary
Daily Telegraph live feed
In an ugly twist, a report is emerging that Labor members have been “threatened” with being stripped of pre-selection for September by unions. The union movement is closely affiliated with the ALP, but unions have denied any attempt to influence the leadership vote.
More about Gillard, Rudd, Australian labor party, leadership challenge, ALP factions
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