Tony Abbott Elected Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd Steps Down

Tony Abbott was elected Australia’s Prime Minister on Saturday as voters sought to remove the Labor party from office.

Abbott, a conservative leader, is also a former boxer, Rhodes scholar, and trainee priest. In his victory speech, the new PM promised to restore political stability to the nation.

Labor ruled the country for six years and failed to maximize the benefits that could have been taken from a mining boom, reports NBC News. But Abbott declared in Sydney “that Australia is under new management and Australia is once more open for business.”

With his entrance into office comes Kevin Rudd’s exit. Rudd was dumped by Labor in 2010 for Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister. But things didn’t work out as the party hoped and Gillard was ousted in June in a bid for the party to stay in power.

It didn’t work. Labor’s overall vote was the worst the party has seen since 2004 when John Howard won his fourth and final term. Despite losing out on the PM position, Labor still held on to its close seats in Queensland, Rudd’s home state. They also held on to several marginal seats in western Sydney.

CNN notes that, while final results weren’t in yet, Rudd had already called Tony Abbott to congratulate him on his win and concede defeat. Rudd also spoke in public about the election, saying, “Tonight is the time to unite in the great Australian nation. Because whatever our politics may be, we are all first and foremost Australian.”

Commentators already expected Rudd and his Labor party to be ousted. As the prime minister arrived at his polling station in Brisbane, he was greeted by hecklers who slammed the government’s plan regarding asylum seekers. Earlier this summer, the government announced it would send all asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea.

The election of Tony Abbott to Australian Prime Minister wasn’t surprising, given Labor’s issues.

[Image via Phillip Minnis / Shutterstock.com]