Choose another PM
The abrupt termination of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership on 24 June 2010, with a federal election due within nine months, created a risk for the Labor government. When losing party leadership, he followed a precedent set by Gough Whitlam (but not every subsequent prime minister) and retained his seat in the House, thereby avoiding the problem of finding an equally popular candidate for the seat of Griffith. He served the final months of the 42nd Parliament on the backbenches.
At the federal election in August 2010, Kevin Rudd comfortably retained his Queensland seat for the Labor Party. As widely predicted, he was rewarded with the Foreign Affairs portfolio by the new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
In his first four months as Foreign Minister, he made official visits to 20 countries, including Pakistan, United States, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Brazil, Chile, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Belgium and Italy. The ‘Kevin 07’ tag of the election campaign that won him office soon became ‘Kevin 747’ as both the intense pace of his overseas travels and his prominence in international affairs accelerated.