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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Saffin backs Rudd over Gillard

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Member for Page Janelle Saffin has backed Kevin Rudd over Julia Gillard as the leader likely to win the next election against Tony Abbott.

Following a month of leadership speculation, Mr Rudd resigned his post as foreign minister last night and is returning to Australia with the intention of running for the top job.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a leadership spill for Monday.

Ms Saffin told local media today, ‘if she does that and if Kevin Rudd runs, I would support him. He’s the best person to lead us and… to defeat Tony Abbott.’

She said, however, that she would not support a ‘stealth attack’, clearly indicating she did not approve of the way Ms Gillard took over the leadership.

Mr Rudd has stopped short of challenging Julia Gillard at Monday’s leadership spill, which she announced this morning.

Echonetdaily’s political commentator Mungo MacCallum said that Mr Rudd would only turn up to Monday’s ballot if he had ‘a decent showing’ and predicted he would not have the numbers to win. He estimates he would need around 35 to 40 votes to make a challenge.

‘It’s clear he won’t win this time around but he will go to the back benches and do a Keating,’ he told Echonetdaily this morning

Mungo said that there are a lot of marginal MPs such as Ms Saffin who were right to be worried about their futures under Gillard.

‘There are a lot of marginals getting very worried. If you look at it, there are 27 Labor MPs on a margin of six per cent of less who would go if there were an election. That’s a lot of people who on the current polling are dead and buried.’

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