Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard

Ten years ago, the government of Kevin Rudd imploded and Julia Gillard secured the numbers to replace him as Labor leader. The following day, she became prime minister when Rudd declined to contest the leadership. Instead, Rudd went to the backbench and began plotting to destabilise Gillard, and came within an ace of wrecking Labor's 2010 election campaign until he forced Gillard to agree to return him to cabinet.

As history shows, of course, Rudd's wrecking was only just beginning. The Gillard minority government became a byword for indiscipline, dysfunction and infighting, with moments of outright sleaze, courtesy of disgraced Labor MP Craig Thomson, and speaker Peter Slipper -- elevated to that position to secure a precious extra number in the House of Reps and welsh on a deal for gambling reform with independent Andrew Wilkie.

The Gillard government, and the incessant sniping by Rudd and his cronies, transformed Parliament House into the setting of a soap opera, with occasional touches of Benny Hill when Tony Abbott fled the chamber to avoid voting on the same side as Thomson.