The battle is joined. Julia Gillard has scheduled a leadership ballot for Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has all but accused Kevin Rudd of sabotaging the 2010 election, saying that Labor had been in a ”winning” position before the damaging leaks during the campaign.
“It required some stoicism,” she said.
In a press conference this morning in Adelaide, she said that party polling had put Labor in a ”winning” lead, which it lost thanks to leaks in the later part of the campaign.
In her reply to Mr Rudd’s resignation from the foreign ministry last night, Ms Gillard confirmed that she will call a ballot for the Labor leadership at 10am (12 noon, NZ time) on Monday.
She said that she expected to win but in the event she did not, pledged to go to the backbench and renounce any further claims on the leadership.
She called on Mr Rudd â€“ whom she expects to also nominate on Monday â€“ to make the same promise.
Earlier this morning, Rudd told reporters in Washington that he was set to contest the Labor leadership.
”I do not believe that Prime Minister Gillard can lead the Australian Labor Party to success at the next election,” he said