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Saffin says Labor can win now Rudd is back in the Lodge

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with Federal MP for Page, Janelle Saffin in 2007.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with Federal MP for Page, Janelle Saffin in 2007. The Northern Star

AFTER backing Kevin Rudd's return to the prime ministership last night, Member for Page Janelle Saffin said Labor could win the next Federal election.

"The feeling within caucus now is that we are going out now as a united team to take the campaign up to Tony Abbott," she said.

"I've always said in my seat I am absolutely competitive, and having Kevin Rudd (as prime minister) is the best thing for the nation and the Federal Labor Party."

Ms Saffin and Richmond MP Justine Elliot both backed Mr Rudd in last night's challenge that returned the former PM to the party's leadership with a 57 to 45 vote.

Two days ago, Ms Saffin said the leadership issue was a matter for Cabinet to resolve, but yesterday morning both North Coast MPs signed the caucus petition that forced the spill.

Ms Saffin said her change of heart was because "it was time for us to do it".

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Asked if she expected a senior role in this Rudd Government or the next should the ALP retain office, Ms Saffin said she did not think "beyond being the Member for Page".

Ms Saffin would not be drawn on the implications of her party rolling the nation's first female prime minister.

"We have chosen the person who can best lead our nation and our party and that's what we've done," she said, adding she believed Kevin Rudd "would hit the ground running as prime minister" this morning.

A Newspoll published yesterday predicted Ms Saffin, who won Page with a margin of 4.2%, would be one of 19 mainland members to lose their seats in a predicted 6.5% swing in NSW against the Gillard Government.

Topics:  federal election 2013, janelle saffin, kevin rudd, labor leadership



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