It’s official: Kevin Rudd is now, once again, Prime Minister-Elect following a leadership spill in Canberra late last night. We expect a raft of Cabinet resignations today, but it has now been confirmed that Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, has resigned.
His resignation was confirmed by his office early this morning:
— Conroy MO (@ConroyMO) June 26, 2013
Conroy — a key Labor powerbroker in the Gillard government — has been the champion of the National Broadband Network since it was announced by the very first Rudd-led government.
His other more controversial policies included a push around the Mandatory Internet Filter — a policy that was dumped late last year.
Conroy has been a key Gillard supporter in the 43rd Parliament.
The now ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a Caucus meeting to spill for the Labor leadership once and for all yesterday, a vote which saw the nation’s first female PM ousted by a vote of 57 to 45 in favour of Kevin Rudd.
Now that Senator Conroy has left his post, it’s unclear as to who will take his place in the new Rudd-led government.
There’s speculation Gillard’s Sports Minister, Senator Kate Lundy, might inherit the massive portfolio, but that’s just it: Senator Lundy threw her support behind the Prime Minister yesterday right into the Caucus Room.
Senator Penny Wong has been elected Senate Leader in Conroy’s-stead, although at this stage the position is largely going to be ceremonial: today (Thursday) is the last sitting day before the Federal Election, which at this stage is still set for 14 September. Although, it’s being speculated that an August election is now more-likely.
The Australian people will then decide who they want in Government, and the respective party leaders — Abbott and Rudd — will then decide on their Cabinets post-ballot.