Julia Gillard confident of win in Labor leadership contest

Sydney: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday said she was ‘very confident’ of a win in Labor Party’s leadership challenge against Kevin Rudd.

Gillard will face Rudd in a secret ballot for the leadership on Monday after he resigned as Foreign Minister while on a visit to the United States. He later announced that he would challenge Gillard for the leadership post.

Soon after Rudd’s surprise resignation on Wednesday, Gillard called a ballot on Monday to end the leadership speculation “once and for all.”

“I believe Labor, every one of us, will unite after Monday’s ballot. We will unite and we will get our shoulders to the wheel delivering Labor’s programme and plans,” Gillard said.

“The important thing is that Monday’s ballot ends this — there is a result and following that result everyone accepts it and unites and gets on with the job and I am absolutely confident that will happen.”

Gillard also said that she was ‘convinced’ that Labor could defeat Opposition Leader Tony Abbott at an election in 2013.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd maintained he was the party’s best chance of winning the next election, but pledged to support Gillard if he was rejected by caucus. Kevin Rudd also said that he stood by his decision to challenge the Labor leadership and believes it was the right thing to do.

“If Julia Gillard is returned on Monday then she will have my unequivocal support between now and the next election because we have interests way beyond individuals here,” Rudd added.