Sep 7, 2010

Julia Gillard wins support from Independent MPs Windsor and Oakeshott

Julia Gillard's Labor Party (ALP)has won support from Independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott which empowers the ALP with a majority in the Australian Parliament.
Julia Gillard (L),  Oakeshott (Top) & Windsor

Earlier, independent Queensland MP Bob Katter shocked observers by splitting from the two other independents in joining Tony Abbott's Coalition.

Today's announcement ends a two week period of horse-trading after Labor won 72 seats and the Coalition 73 in the August 21 election.

Independent Andrew Wilkie and the sole lower chamber member from the Greens party Adam Bandt had previously pledged allegiance to Labor.

The two MPs will give Labor a 76 to 74 majority in the Australian Parliament.

Mr Windsor - who announced his decision first - said broadband and renewable energy policies were deciding factors for him, as well as producing a government most likely to last a full-term, reported The Australian.

"We've also looked at issues of stability - if a government is formed, how long could it last? What sort of relationship would there be with the Senate?" he said.

Mr Oakeshott has said all the Independents had struggled with a "wicked dilemma".

He said it was "line-ball, six of one, half a dozen of the other" in making his decision and that the job ahead of both sides of politics now is to "bring Australia together".

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