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Bill Shorten to lead Labor Party?

Posted by: Darren Goodsir, Fairfax | 23 August, 2010 - 11:33 AM

REPORT: Bill Shorten, the former union boss who orchestrated the execution of Kevin Rudd from the Labor leadership, has been backed by punters to lead the party to the next election.

While hundreds of punters sweat on the final election outcome, Mr Shorten, the parliamentary secretary for disabilities, has been installed as the clear favourite with bookies to topple the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who is fighting to form a minority government. 

Leading betting agency Centrebet has Mr Shorten, a Victorian Labor-right figure who is married to the daughter of Governor-General Quentin Bryce, a $2.70 favourite, with Ms Gillard at $4.10.

Mr Shorten is widely credited as joining forces with NSW Labor powerbroker, Mark Arbib, and South Australian party factions boss, David Feeney, to launch the dramatic late-night assault on Mr Rudd's prime ministership in June.

The fallout from Mr Rudd's demise has been blamed for huge swings against Labor in Queensland, where it is set to lose nine seats to the Coalition.

Centrebet's spokesman Neil Evans said Financial Services minister Chris Bowen was third favourite to lead the party at $7 with former ACTU boss and Defence Materiel minister Greg Combet close behind at $8.50.

Treasurer Wayne Swan, who suffered an embarrassing swing against him in his Brisbane seat of Lilley, is an outsider at $15, while Mr Rudd has the juicy odds of $31.

"Of course, the market will move depending on who can eventually form government, but if the Coalition takes power, Ms Gillard's hopes of being leader when Australia next votes would nose-dive," Mr Evans said.

Evans said the Coalition remained at $1.57 to form government, with Labor at $2.25 - although they had firmed markedly in the past few hours.


$2.70. Bill Shorten
$4.10 Julia Gillard
$7 Chris Bowen
$8.50 Greg Combet
$9 Any Other
$12 Stephen Smith
$14 Anthony Albanese
$15 Wayne Swan
$21 Kate Ellis
$26 Nicola Roxon
$31 Kevin Rudd

Politics changed forever?

JG LISTEN: Julia Gillard went from smiling at morning coffee to being very forthright in Sunday afternoon's presser. Listen to her as she details why Labor can form a 'stable government'.


Gillard 'will regret this forever'

jG HINCH: By 'pulling one on' as they say she virtually turned it into a campaign by two Opposition leaders. She did not have the oomph and power of incumbency that usually translates into votes for a PM. Click the image on the right for Hinch's scathing editorial.

Blog comments Your Say

  • why does the "Bill Shorten"
    episode not surprise me POWER is the name of the game unfortunately Julia was only a stepping stone

    jan Wednesday 25 August, 2010 - 1:13 PM
  • the 24th of June is the 76th anniversary of the "Night of Long Knives";

    LEMON Monday 23 August, 2010 - 10:56 PM
  • Money, political power and social prestige... sure does buy the veneer of respectability in this country!

    Maureen Monday 23 August, 2010 - 7:23 PM
  • No more bloodletting please. I favoured the replacement of Kevin Rudd but if Julia Gillard can form a government can we please NOT have other candidates undermining her & jockeying for her position.

    Judy Monday 23 August, 2010 - 6:50 PM
  • The Greens appear to be very happy. It's obvious they don't realise or understand that the Aussie voter's were not happy with either of the major parties, so all they got was a protest vote. It's not as if they actually got all those votes because the public agreed with their policies. Their professionalism leaves a lot to be desired. A bit of a worry in the Senate.

    Dianne Kellett Monday 23 August, 2010 - 5:57 PM
  • Gerard, you are correct again. The Labor Party Caucus is not all that happy with Gillard. I would not be surprised to see our third Socialist PM in three years.
    And what perks does a 58 day PM get, that should go to more deserving people in our Community.

    Owen Carlton Monday 23 August, 2010 - 3:35 PM

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