Australia: Can Gillard Survive The Slipper Scandal?
Peter Slipper (left), the Speaker of Australia’s parliament, who temporarily stepped down this week due to a sexual harassment and corruption scandal. Slipper’s departure puts at risk the government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard (right). (AP Photo/ Office of Peter Slipper MP; ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
April 25, 2012
| Economics
| Asia and the Pacific
The resignation this week of Peter Slipper, the Speaker of Australia’s parliament, could be the straw that breaks the back of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s increasingly unpopular government. The scandal increases the chances of a backbench revolt from within her Labor Party and could doom her chances of staying in power, even if she were to survive backbench opposition and go on to lead her party against the conservatives in the coming general election.

LIGNET believes the odds are against Gillard as she attempts to maintain control over her party before the next election, which must be called by November, 2013. If the balloting were taking place today, Labor would have in all likelihood already replaced her with a fresh, untarnished face to front the party.  Although Gillard still has time to turn around her negative poll numbers, look for challengers like her former foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, to challenge her in the near future.

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