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Australia has its first female PM

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Kevin Rudd has stepped aside as Australian prime minister (AP)

Kevin Rudd has stepped aside as Australian prime minister (AP)

Kevin Rudd has stepped aside as Australian prime minister (AP)

Australia has its first female prime minister after the ruling party dumped Kevin Rudd and installed his deputy as leader.

New leader Julia Gillard will lead the government to elections due within months.

Ms Gillard stood unopposed at a vote in a meeting of the Labour Party's 112 MPs - just hours after a revolt against Mr Rudd.

Mr Rudd did not even stand in the vote - a signal he knew his support within the party had collapsed.

As leader of the majority party in Parliament, Ms Gillard's swearing in as prime minister is a formality.

Ms Gillard is unlikely to alter Australia's key foreign policy positions such as its troop commitment to Afghanistan.

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