Rudd Says Working Relations With Australia’s Gillard Are ‘Good’

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he has good working relations with his successor Julia Gillard and is trying to help the governing Labor Party win elections due next year.

“It’s a good professional working relationship,” Rudd, who was ousted by Gillard in a party room coup in 2010, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Singapore. “My job as a member of Parliament is to support the government’s selling of its message.”

Rudd enjoyed record-high popularity early in his 31 months in office after defeating John Howard’s Liberal-National coalition government in 2007. He was toppled amid complaints about his autocratic style and in February lost a leadership ballot in which he tried to reclaim the prime minister job from Gillard.

Support for the Labor government climbed to an 18-month high in an opinion poll published this week. Labor’s primary vote rose 3 percentage points to 36 percent, while Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition slid 5 points to 41 percent, according to a Newspoll survey published in the Australian newspaper Sept. 17.

Rudd, who attended the Singapore Global Dialogue conference, said Labor had become “increasingly successful” in articulating what an Abbott-led government would mean for Australia.

That would include cutting public service jobs, “gutting health and gutting education, and not having a credible economic strategy for the country once the mining boom is over,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jason Scott in Canberra at jscott14@bloomberg.net; Sharon Chen in Singapore at schen462@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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