'We're backing Rudd'
FEDERAL Member for Richmond Justine Elliot will back Kevin Rudd in the ballot for leadership of the Labor Party on Monday.
Ms Elliot, who has served as Parliamentary Secretary for Trade under Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister, said her vote would reflect what local voters wanted.
"Locals have been telling me that they want Kevin Rudd to lead the Labor Party," Ms Elliot said.
"I believe that Kevin Rudd is the best person to lead the Labor Party and I will be voting for him if he is a candidate in Monday's ballot."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a leadership ballot for 10am on Monday after former Prime Minister Rudd's shock resignation as Foreign Minister in Washington on Wednesday night.
Mr Rudd, who toured the Tweed City Shopping Centre with Ms Elliot in October last year and received a warm reception from shoppers, declared yesterday afternoon that he would be a candidate in that ballot.
Ms Elliot holds her seat of Richmond by a 7% margin.
Seats below 5% margins are normally considered marginal but Federal Labor's low standing in national opinion polls means the seat could come under attack at the next Federal Election.
It is not known how the crossbench MPs that the Gillard Government counts on for support would react to an unexpected Rudd victory on Monday, however both Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott have reiterated that their deal to support a Labor government was directly with Julia Gillard, not the Labor Party.
A change in leadership could mean a fresh Federal election if the independents do not back a Rudd-led government.