CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Embattled Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard insists she will lead her unpopular government to victory at elections next year despite persistent media reports that Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is plotting to overthrow her in an internal power struggle.
Speculation that Rudd will soon move against the woman who ousted him as prime minister in 2010 is dominating political reporting in Australia and destabilizing Gillard's government, which opinion polls suggest is headed for electoral defeat.
Gillard, Australia's first woman prime minister, told Seven Network television late Sunday she is "very confident" in her leadership.
She said there is "no need" to call a leadership ballot of ruling Labor Party lawmakers to prove that she has more support than Rudd. Rudd publicly says he supports Gillard.