Julie Gillard flinched, despite, only a couple of days ago, asserting that she would never do such a thing.
The men - it's almost all men - of the federal ALP caucus were too gutless to get a back bone between them. They did not even attempt to contest their abysmal leadership. Bugger the numbers. There was no count.
Notably, and confirming my persistent thought, not one of them was prepared to lead the ALP to certain defeat, even if it might save a few seats, albeit, very few. The more seats the ALP loses at this year's federal election, all the harder for whoever is left, including those with primeministerial aspirations, to achieve success in their lifetime, or to even form a plausible opposition.
Today, Julia Gillard and her party handed the Liberal and National Parties staggering power. Likely unprecedented.
I hope the Libs and the Nats are celebrating. Soberly. Very soberly. With great power comes great responsibility. They will need to keep their heads when they take over the country in September.
If the ALP had not run a chaotic, punch-drunk government for the last five years, we wouldn't all be in this incomprehensible situation.
Yes, the federal politicians - most especially Gillard and her team - insist that it's all about them.
Julia Gillard seriously believes that her fortitude, her stubborn - indeed resolute - inability to do anything remotely sensible to run her party, let alone the country, is of value in and of itself; is a personal quality self-evidently warranting her place in The Lodge. It's one of the worst reasons for any individual to believe they should be, or should continue to be, Prime Minister.
The joke is over.
This is deadly serious.