Australian PM Julia Gillard loses leadership of the Labour Party

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard failed to win the support of her own party after calling a ballot for leadership of the Labour party amid rumours of a petition signed by supporters of her predecessor Kevin Rudd to oust her. The story was broken early by Sky sources.

The decision followed a dramatic last-minute switch of allegiance of Bill Shorten from Gillard to Rudd. Rudd clinched a narrow victory of 57 votes to 45.

The Labour party will now have to face up against Tony Abbott’s conservative Liberal-National coalition in the next election later this year.