Julia Gillard wins ballot

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Julia Gillard has been re-elected as Labor leader after she defeated Kevin Rudd for the post.

Votes were cast at 10am today. Of the 102 Caucus colleagues, 71 of them supported Julia Gillard. Kevin Rudd secured 31 votes.

Kevin Rudd has said that he will now go to the back bench and give his unequivocal support to Julia Gillard.

Former Labor leader Simon Crean said Mr. Rudd must now honour his promise to put aside leadership aspirations.

Australians would come back to Labor if the Government got on with its job, Mr Crean told ABC TV.

“If we can put this madness behind us (and) get on with the task of explaining better what it is we have done to date, what we intend to do for the future – I think come the next election we certainly can win the faith back again,” he said.

Mr Rudd this morning stood by his decision to challenge for the Labor leadership.

“It was the right thing to do to challenge,” he told Channel Seven.

Despite opinion polls showing voters want Mr Rudd, the former Prime Minister suffered a second overwhelming rejection by his own colleagues in 20 months.

After a week of vicious attacks by some senior Labor ministers, both Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard pledged to end the in-fighting.

“Every one of us will unite,” Ms Gillard said. “We will get our shoulders to the wheel, delivering Labor’s program and plans.”

Mr Rudd said: “I’d say to all my supporters, we unite behind a government because our key objective is to prevent all that we’ve achieved being shredded by Mr Abbott.”