3.47pm - Marcus Priest | Australia faces a potential constitutional crisis if Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard in Thursday afternoon’s caucus ballot.
If she loses, Ms Gillard will be forced to hand in her commission to Governor-General Quentin Bryce, but there is no certainty that Mr Rudd would be automatically appointed in her place.
After the 2010 election, Ms Bryce received advice from then Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler about her options in the case of a hung parliament.
It is understood from a government source that Ms Bryce was advised that she needed to be convinced that a person could command majority support in the House of Representatives before appointing them prime minister.
As a result, Ms Gillard had to obtain signed agreements from independent MPs in order to convince Ms Bryce that she had majority support in parliament.
“Rudd won’t have that advantage,” said one senior Labor MP today.
If Mr Rudd is unable to obtain similar signed agreements, Ms Bryce is likely to call an election.
Alternatively, she could appoint Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as prime minister if he were able to demonstrate that he could command a majority on the floor of parliament.
I like BIll Shorten but he may prefer to hold off with a challenge until after the election. I suspect that whoever gets in after today will just be in caretaker mode, regardless of who wins in September.
Shorten will eventually head the ALP but it is all about timing.
I really do not want to see Rudd there and do not understand how anyone wants him back...for one, how can you put faith in a man who denies over and over again that he will challenge Julia, he is a liar, has many in the party who loathe him as he runs a dictatorship and he looks creepy to me.
All politicians lie. What's he supposed to say when he's asked? Nothing? Howard lied, Abbott lies, they all lie.
I think a lot of those in the party who loathe him probably like their jobs enough to suck it up. Better to have a leader you loathe or to be in opposition with a leader you like?
Actually. I think if enough members vote for it, a motion can be carried to postpone the vote to a later date.
Rudd might do that to have more time to get the numbers?
Doubt Rudd will put his hand up. I hope that Crean does.
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