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.