PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has retained the leadership of the federal Labor Party after defeating Kevin Rudd 71-31 in a caucus ballot this morning.
The ballot, held at 10am, delivered the biggest margin in a Labor leadership ballot for 30 years.
Returning officer Chris Hayes said Mr Rudd had promised to unite behind the leadership of Ms Gillard.
"I think the Prime Minister's now been shown the overwhelming support of Caucus,'' Mr Hayes said.
"He made it very clear to Caucus that depending on what the result was he was happy to support and work towards a unified Labor team.''
"Once the votes were read out there was a certain amount of relief on the faces of members and senators,'' Mr Hayes said.
"I think they see this as now the point at which they move forward.''
Both Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd are expected to address the media later in the day.
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