From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Julia Gillard to break her silence. The former PM has stayed quiet since leaving office in June, save for a couple of gracious tweets on election night. Now she’s breaking the drought, appearing at the inaugural Anne Summers Conversations events in Sydney and Melbourne early next month. Summers says Gillard has agreed to “a candid and wide-ranging conversation” and will also answer questions from the audience. Might she take just an ounce of pleasure in arch-rival Kevin Rudd’s election defeat? Details about the event are here.

Julia Gillard in conversation

You might remember Gillard is also sharpening her quill for a book. We understand she hasn’t yet signed on the dotted line, but Penguin is the frontrunner and there are rumours of a $500,000+ advance — an unusually high amount. Publishers are being told the book will be full of sensational revelations.

So we can look forward to more internal Labor bickering and muckraking then?

PUP handing out the dosh. We’ve been overwhelmed with tips about the Palmer United Party paying people to hand out how-to-vote cards at polling booths. What’s interesting is that the amount on offer seems to have varied by electorate.

PUP “volunteers” in the NSW seat of Robertson told others they had been paid $20 an hour, while those in Forde were reportedly paid $150 for a half-day and $250 for an entire day.

The practice doesn’t appear to be illegal, and apparently the Liberal Party also paid people to hand out HTVs. Perhaps the supporters of the more scrupulous/financially stretched are envious?

Rate your pollies. Meanwhile, a tipster says she was offered a survey form on her way to the polling booth, asking voters to rate the parties on their humanitarian policies. It’s not clear which party or person was responsible for this — if you received any unconventional material on polling day, tell us about it.

Fear and loathing in the far north. North Queensland MP Warren Entsch has blamed the boss for the swing against him on Saturday in some parts of his electorate. He hung onto the seat of Leichhardt despite votes for him being down 35% in certain areas (overall Entsch benefited from a 0.7% swing towards the LNP). He told ABC radio that locals were offended by Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott referring to indigenous leader Noel Pearson as a prophet, and they took it out on him at the polling booths.  Not a great look for the the purportedly united incoming government?

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