Key will not rejoice in result

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 22:12 26/06/2013

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OPINION: Prime Minister John Key won't be rejoicing in the result of tonight's extraordinary leadership spill across the Tasman.

He and Julia Gillard have a close personal friendship that was never replicated with Kevin Rudd.

Key and Gillard text each other regularly and often join each other for dinner with their partners when the formal business is done.

Gillard was also a good friend to New Zealand. She has brought not only energy, but warmth to the bilateral relationship.  

Contrast that with Rudd, who in his short time as Australian Prime Minister put the trans-Tasman relationship on the back burner in pursuit of a bigger presence on the international stage.

It is probably all a moot point though as the polls have Liberal leader Tony Abott on course to be Prime Minister in the months ahead.

New Zealand Labour Party leader David Shearer will take even less pleasure from the result.

After months of destabilising leadership speculation, the Australian Labor caucus waited till the 11th hour to turn the knife on Gillard.

It is a brutal reminder to Shearer that no one's support can be counted on once the rank and stop believing they can win and turn their attention to how best to save their own necks in a rout.

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