Gillard edges closer to victory in Australia

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Gillard edges closer to victory in Australia

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is edging closer to forming a new government, after one of four key independent MPs backed her.

Nearly two weeks after an inconclusive election, her ruling Labor Party is just two seats short of a majority.

The MP, Andrew Wilkie, believes it is most likely to deliver stable government.

“I would hope that this sends a signal to the other three independents and they move as quickly as they can, just as I have done, to make their decisions and to decide to support a party of parties in a way which will bring maximum stability,” he said.

Earlier, Australia’s only Green MP declared his support for Gillard. In return she agreed to set up a committee on climate change.

The move was expected: the opposition leader Tony Abbott has played down man’s influence on climate change and has opposed measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

He could still win – just. The three undecided independents represent rural conservative constituencies.

Although less likely, new elections may still be needed to break the deadlock.