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Labor Government Holds On

  • September 7th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

gillard.jpgTwo of the rural independents in the Australian Parliament have announced today they will support  the Australian Labor Party, under Prime Minister Julia Gillard (picture), to stay in office as a minority government.

Their decision gives the government the barest majority in the House of Representatives, 76-74.

Together with a third rural independent, who went to the Opposition side, they had spent a fortnight negotiating with the major parties, since elections held on 21.9.10.

All other Members had declared much earlier.

The decision today confirms the position of the Labor government elected under Kevin Rudd in 2007, and headed by Ms Gillard since his removal in a party room coup (24.6.10), (see EUAustralia; “EU greets new Australian PM”, 24.6.10; “Australian elections …”, 22.8.10).

State of the parties:

Government side: Australian Labor Party (ALP) 72, Green party 1, independents 3.

Opposition side: Liberal – National 73, independent 1. (One of the National Party members will sit on cross benches but declared this week he would support a Liberal – National government in confidence votes).

Some numbers problems will confront the new government in parliament, including the position of a Parliamentary Speaker, and its lack of a majority in the Senate.

However it has made an agreement for government with the Green Party, which will hold the balance of power in the Senate, once newly elected members take their seats there in July next year.

The Opposition coalition, headed by Tony Abbott, made strong gains at the August elections, especially in the State of Queensland, the home base of the displaced PM Kevin Rudd.