It's quite literally high noon for the contenders for the Australian Labor Party leadership. Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd will go head to head at noon NZ time in what has been a brief but bitter struggle for the Australian Prime Ministership.
Whoever wins today (and we think it will be Julia Gillard) though, the ALP is the loser. When you hear senior ALP figures declaring that they'd "rather be in opposition" than led by Kevin Rudd once again, you get an idea of just how toxic the environment in the ALP has become.
Both the protagonists are calling for unity in the wake of today's leadership vote, but we don't see that happening. Julia Gillard is simply going to have to accept the fact that around a third of her caucus does not support her leadership, and it's only going to take a resignation or two for Australia to have to go to the polls early. It would surprise if Julia Gillard's government lasts until the 2013 election.
We'll have the outcome as soon as it is available.