Julia Gillard Becomes Australia's First Female PM

"Julia Gillard became Australia's first female prime minister on Thursday after Kevin Rudd stepped down before a leadership ballot, a Labor government official said. Disgruntled Labor government members backed Gillard to replace Rudd, fearing they would be turfed from office at expected October elections after only one term. Labor government support has plummeted in opinion polls since April over a series of Rudd policy failures, such as his postponement of a carbon trading scheme, and inability to sell a controversial mining tax, which has angered miners and rattled voters."