Will a gay sex scandal involving a Liberal MP bring down Julia Gillard?

Normally an allegation of a gay sex scandal involving someone elected as a Liberal Party MP would not concern the Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Prime Minister.

But it does when the MP is . He was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and re-elected in 2010. But in November 2011 the Speaker of the Australian Parliament resigned, and Slipper became Speaker against the wishes of his own party to help the Government’s majority. He then resigned as a Liberal MP, and is now an Independent.

At the 2011 Federal Election both Labor and the Coalition won 72 seats. Gillard retained power by gaining four votes from the six cross-party MPs. They are:

  • Adam Bandt, Greens
  • Andrew Wilkie, Independent (former Green)
  • Tony Windsor, Independent
  • Rob Oakeshott, Independent

After losing the Speaker, The Government can only pass laws 75-74. When Slipper became Speaker, the numbers became 76-73. But Gillard renenged on a deal with Andrew Wilkie, which made the numbers 75-73-1.

If Slipper resigns and a Labor MP replaces him, then Gillard has just 74 seats and the Coalition probably 74 seats and Wilkie hold the balance of power. Does not guarantee the Government falls, but would be very unstable.

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