Goodness, what an afternoon.
In the time you’d take to watch Gone with the Wind, Labor launched a coup against itself, indulged in a frenzy of number-counting and furtive meetings, held a leadership ballot — and gave us exactly the same result.
Julia Gillard remains PM, Wayne Swan remains Deputy PM, and Simon Crean (who ignited the coup despite lacking an actual candidate) is looking like a very lonely figure. The mooted Kevin Rudd challenge came to nothing. He didn’t have the numbers, he didn’t challenge.
This afternoon had elements of farce, tragedy and comedy. That’s modern Labor for you.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Today was bad news for Gillard (has she been fatally winged by these damaging leadership challenges?), bad news for Rudd (he was caught short) and bad news for Labor all around.
The winner of this afternoon’s coup is Tony Abbott. He didn’t need to say a word (although of course he couldn’t help himself).
We’ve bought you this special late edition of Crikey because we thought the political junkies out there wouldn’t want to wait for a Crikey take — including some wisdom from Bernard Keane — on the day’s events. We’ll bring you more analysis tomorrow. One thing’s for sure, you can’t tune out of this situation for too long …