This Blog does not have a firm handle on the issues in the Australian election and is not suggesting that Mr. Rudd was tossed out because he supported same-sex “marriage”.
However if Mr Rudd demonstrated the same lack of information and recklessness with respect to his ignorance in other areas as he demonstrated in his discussion of same sex “marriage” below the Australians have done themselves a handsome favour.
Tony Abbott claims victory for the Coalition in Federal Election 2013
- September 7, 2013 – 11:21PMRead later
Judith Ireland, Jonathan Swan
Kevin Rudd quits Labor leadership
Outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces his resignation as Labor party leader after conceding defeat to Tony Abbott. Nine News.
- Federal Election 2013: Live results
- Election live blog with Stephanie Peatling
- Tony Abbott’s victory speech
- Kevin Rudd’s concession speech
Tony Abbott has claimed victory for the Coalition in the 2013 federal election.
Earlier Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded defeat and announced that he would not recontest the leadership of the Labor Party, saying it was ”time for renewal”.
Mr Abbott appeared before a jubilant crowd of supporters in Sydney.
”I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed,” he said, before he was drowned out by the crowd.
Mr Abbott repeated his election pledges, saying the carbon tax would go, the boats would be stopped and the budget would be on track for a ”believable surplus”.
”From today, I declare that Australia is under new management and that Australia is once more open for business.”
Mr Abbott acknowledged that Mr Rudd had conceded defeat as well as his ”service”.
”I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people.”
The new prime minister elect said that in a ”week or so” Governor-General Quentin Bryce would swear in the new government.
”Today, the people of Australia have declared that the right to govern this country does not belong to Mr Rudd or to me or to his party or to ours; but it belongs to you, the people of Australia,” Mr Abbott said.
‘Gave it my all’
Mr Rudd said he had called Mr Abbott to congratulate him on his victory.
”I gave it my all but it was not enough for us to win,” Mr Rudd told a crowd of cheering Labor Party supporters in Brisbane.
Mr Rudd said he was proud he had helped preserve Labor as a ”viable fighting force” for the future.
”Ben Chifley’s light on the hill will continue forever,” he declared.
Mr Rudd told a gathering of the party faithful in Brisbane: ”I have been honoured to serve as your prime minister and as your party’s leader.
”But there comes a time when you know you’ve given it your all and a time for the party to further renew its leadership for the future.
”For me that time is now. So I will not be recontesting the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party.”
The Australian people deserved a ”fresh start”, Mr Rudd said.
”I know this will not be welcome news to some of you. But my responsibility has been to maintain Labor as a fighting force for the future so that we can unite behind the next leader of our party.”
Mr Rudd told the audience they would not hear his voice in public life for some time, and that was ”as it should be”. He had taken the decision with a ”heavy heart” because he loved the Labor Party, loved the movement and loved ”the vision we have for Australia’s future”.
The mood at the Labor post-election party was so buoyant that Mr Rudd had to calm down their whistling and chanting so he could begin talking.
”Kevin! Kevin! Kevin!” they yelled.
”Jeez, I though we had lost,” Mr Rudd said.
He said the ”miracle” and the ”marvel” of Australia was that there was ”more that unites us than divides us”.
Mr Rudd was less generous about his LNP opponent, Bill Glasson, whom he defeated for the seat of Griffith.
”It would be un-prime ministerial of me to say Bill Glasson, eat your heart out, so I won’t,” he said.
Mr Rudd said he and his wife Therese Rein were looking forward to greeting Mr Abbott and his wife Margie at the Lodge next week with the same generosity that John and Janette Howard welcomed his family six years ago.
He also said that as evidence of Labor’s success, every sitting member of cabinet who recontested their seats had been returned.
Addressing his campaign staff, Mr Rudd said: ”For putting up with me, I thank you for that.”
Former prime minister Julia Gillard took to Twitter after Mr Rudd’s concession speech to commiserate with her old colleagues.
”A tough night for Labor,” Ms Gillard wrote. ”But a spirited fight by Kevin, Albo, George + the whole team. My thoughts are with you all. JG”
‘Rudd should leave parliament’
Outgoing defence minister Stephen Smith praised Mr Rudd’s decision to resign from the leadership as the ”sensible” thing to do” – but still called on Mr Rudd to leave Parliament.
”It is in his interests and our interests … to leave the Parliament at some early time,” he said.
Mr Smith said that the ”next generation” – including Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Mark Butler – needed a chance.
”You have to strike out for the future,” he said.
”They can’t now get bogged down on who said what to who, or was it Rudd or was it Gillard’s fault?”
Former minister Greg Combet said he endorsed Mr Smith’s assessment that Mr Rudd should leave Parliament.
Upbeat mood despite loss
Despite a poor showing for Labor at the polls, losses in western Sydney were not as bad as expected, and Labor has so far lost just one seat in Queensland, Capricornia.
Rudd backer and Treasurer Chris Bowen, who has held on to his seat of McMahon, said Labor had done better than expected.
”Across the board it’s a difficult night for the Labor Party, but compared with what we may have faced, six or 12 months ago, it’s a result which I think will stand us in good stead for the next three years,” he told ABC TV.
Mr Combet also said that the results for his party were not as bad as expected.
”The outcome seats-wise doesn’t look quite as bad for us as had been anticipated,” he told ABC TV.
Early Labor-held seats to fall to the Coalition were La Trobe and Corangamite in Victoria and Bass, Braddon and Lyons in Tasmania, but Labor retained Franklin in that state. The central coast NSW seat of Robertson was also a loss for Labor to the Coalition, as were the NSW seats of Page and Lindsay.
Other Labor losses included the Victorian seat of Deakin, the South Australian seat of Hindmarsh and the Northern Territory seat of Lingiari.
Coalition candidates have also won in the formerly independent-held seats of New England and Lyne. Barnaby Joyce has successfully moved from the Senate to the lower house, taking New England, the seat formerly held by Tony Windsor.
The Nationals have also held off a challenge from the Liberals in the Victorian seat of Mallee.
High-profile candidate Clive Palmer is in with a chance to win the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax held by retiring Coalition MP Alex Somlyay.
Mr Palmer had attracted close to 29 per cent of the vote, with more than 55 per cent of the votes counted.
Former speaker Peter Slipper has conceded the Queensland seat of Fisher, with former Howard government minister Mal Brough set to return to Parliament.
Independent Andrew Wilkie has held his seat of Denison in Tasmania with a strong swing to him despite a concerted campaign by Labor. Greens MP Adam Bandt will retain Melbourne despite the Liberal Party directing preferences away from the Greens.
In some good news for Labor, Rudd supporter Ed Husic retained his western Sydney seat of Chifley as did Michelle Rowland in Greenway against a challenge from Jaymes Diaz.
Kate Ellis retained her seat of Adelaide in South Australia.
Matt Thistlewaite has successfully moved from the Senate to retain the Sydney seat of Kingsford-Smith for Labor. He stood for the seat after former education minister Peter Garrett resigned from politics when Mr Rudd was returned to the Labor leadership.
Recriminations begin within Labor
Within five minutes of the first stations closing, senior Labor figures were publicly conceding defeat.
At 6.04pm former defence minister Stephen Smith told ABC TV that Labor had already lost and that the result could be worse than 1996, when Paul Keating lost in a landslide to John Howard.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News the election was “lost by the government” rather than won by the opposition.
”All the evidence shows that the electorate is not madly keen about him [Tony Abbott],” Mr Hawke told Sky News.
”The personal manipulations and pursuits of interest have dominated more than they should and in the process the concentration on values have slipped.”
Tanya Plibersek told ABC TV that it was clear the Coalition had won the day.
”I am a cautious person by nature, but I think it’s pretty clear. It’s a matter of the size of the victory.”
Labor’s public recriminations have already begun, with outgoing Northern Territory senator Trish Crossin blaming national secretary George Wright for a poorly run campaign.
”If we see a massive defeat tonight then George Wright has to go,” Senator Crossin wrote on Facebook.
”Worst national secretary we have had … can’t be [sic] believe the media don’t look at this more closely.”
Senator Crossin was dumped from her Senate seat in January by former prime minister Julia Gillard, who installed former Olympic athlete Nova Peris in the hope of her becoming federal Labor’s first indigenous representative.