Australia has a new Prime Minister - the first woman PM
Julia Gillard has been elected unopposed to the Labor leadership, seizing power in a bloodless Parliament House coup after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided not to contest this morning's leadership ballot. So, Julia Gillard is Australia's first-ever female Prime Minister, but will she end the unpopular policies of Kevin Rudd? It is expected that she will maintain the troops in Afghanistan and go on supporting the Israeli position against the Palestinians.
Her big challenges will be climate change, refugee policy and an unpopular mining tax.
The challange only emerged at 7pm yesterday and was over by 9.45 this morning. Initial response from the Liberal Party is one of caution as their own polling showed that Julia Gillard "would smash the Libs".
Emerging from this morning's meeting, Gillard said she felt "very honoured" and said she would be making a statement shortly.
Treasurer Wayne Swan now steps up as Deputy Prime Minister. He was also elected unopposed.
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