May 19, 2019

Labor rules – Julia Gillard wins two seat majority

The winning smile - Julia Gillard on her way to deliver her victory speech.

After 17 days of uncertainty the Australia Labor Party has won the support of the two remaining independent MPs to form a minority government.

Independent MP’s, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, announced their decisions separately, with Oakeshott being the last to signal his position to back Julia Gillard as prime minister.

Labour can now form the next government with a 76-74 majority. It will be an uncomfortable time in parliament from now on with no one being allowed to take toilet stops in case they miss a vote.

Earlier in the day the drama increased when Queensland independent Bob Katter called a press conference to announce he was supporting Tony Abbott and the Coalition.

Not to worry for Julia though, despite rumours that Tony Abbott had met with the two remaining New South Wales independents last night and offered love and marriage, they ended up siding with Labor.

Tony Windsor nominated broadband as one of the critical issues that tipped his hand to support Labor in a press conference that thankfully mentioned which horse he was backing at the outset.

No such luck with Rob Oakeshott who decided to make the thrill of being the centre of attention for the first time in his life last a little longer by giving a long cryptic speech before eventually announcing he too was climbing into bed with Labor. He was at pains to point out that he wasn’t exactly looking forward the experience and would have to lie on his back and think of Tony every time he had to vote with Labor.

Julia will be hoping none of her loyal bunch drop dead in the near future because a by-election might end her government. Still if it is a back bencher who is not so well known that carks it they can probably call in a taxidermist and get them stuffed, mounted and displayed in the debating chamber.