Andrew Wilkie
Andrew Wilkie PATRICK CARUANA

Wilkie warns Labor over vote of no confidence

THE next five weeks will be a crucial time for the Federal Government, after independent MP Andrew Wilkie warned Labor could struggle to survive an impending vote of no confidence when parliament resumes in May.

After a dramatic week in politics, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott tried to push through a vote of no confidence in the government on Thursday.

While Mr Abbott's motion to suspend standing orders to allow the vote was narrowly avoided, he warned on Friday he would renew the motion when parliament resumes.

The Labor Government held off the vote on Thursday on the basis of just two votes, with key independents Mr Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor voting to allow the debate on such a vote.

If a vote of no confidence was successful, it would mean the end of the Gillard Government, and Australia would be heading to an election much earlier than the September date already set.

While he had not yet decided whether would actually vote to bring down the government, Mr Wilkie spoke to the Seven Network on the issue on Saturday.

He said the government would struggle to survive the vote if it did not start showing stability and competence.

The added pressure on the government also comes as Prime Minister Julia Gillard deliberates over a new ministerial reshuffle, following resignations and a frontbench sacking last week.

Mr Wilkie said he would look at the wording of any motion put to the parliament on the day and decide whether to support it then.


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