How The Appearances Of Leading Australian Politicians Have Changed In An Era Of Power Struggles

Fierce infighting, leadership changes and a spell of minority government have characterised Australian politics in recent years. It can’t have been easy on those at the top.

With Australians going to the polls tomorrow to write a new chapter in the country’s political history, here’s a look at how some of the country’s leading politicians have been physically marked, after a period of unprecedented turmoil.

Remember to cast your vote tomorrow.

Kevin Rudd

Looks like it's the end of the road.

This is the Prime Minister in 2006, as a fresh-faced, newly-minted Party leader, who had just defeated Kim Beazley 49 votes to 39 for the leadership of the ALP

Rudd in 2013

Since Rudd took on Beazley for the leadership, it's been a slog.

Everything seemed like it was going well. K-Rudd rode a wave of popularity to end 12 years of conservative rule when he won the 2007 election.

It was all smiles, until the Senate rejected his carbon price scheme, and his deputy Julia Gillard decided to roll him in June 2010.

That in itself would have been stressful. But there were three years of wild ups and downs over the following three years, culminating in his return to the Labor leadership. It's been an understandably been a tough few years.


Some bookmakers have already paid out on a Coalition win at the Federal Election tomorrow. All the opinion polls are predicting a LNP victory, and even Rudd's brother yesterday said he had 'no chance' of wining.

Media reports have even said some Labor strategist think the party should just admit it is going to lose, to try and save as many seats as possible.

While he remains defiant to the last, it seems all but assured Australians will wake up on Sunday morning with Tony Abbott as their Prime Minister.

After everything he's been through in his political career, polls have even suggested Rudd could lose his urban Brisbane seat of Griffith to the Liberal's candidate, Bill Glasson.

Julia Gillard

Even her political enemies never questioned Julia Gillard's resolve. And most would accept she weathered more adversity than any other sitting Australian Prime Minister.

Here she is, in happier times as Rudd's deputy leader. Then she rolled him, and had to govern the country and deal with his unshakeable desire to retake the throne.

She even let him be Foreign Affairs minister, until he tried to go her for the top job in one of several failed attempts, and he had to resign.


This is Gillard in her last question time as PM. The rumour of a leadership petition was going around the halls of parliament, and true-to-form she decided 'bring it on' -- as opposed to one of the other leadership spills, when she literally said 'take your best shot'.

Rudd won out this time, and Gillard announced she would leave politics at the election before a gracious farewell address, which was a marked contrast to Rudd's farewell address when he cried.

Tony Abbott

It's been a bit of a wait for Abbott, and now his time, it appears, has finally arrived.

Abbott led the LNP to defeat at the 2010 election, after he rolled Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership, and then had to oppose a minority government -- which he did, relentlessly.

Here he is in July 2010.


And here he is in 2013, just days out from a all-but-inevitable victory.

Abbott has had to deal with his own doubters. While he's been the leader of the party, there's been rumblings of Turnbull return.

He was also the subject of Jullia Gillard's misogyny speech, which went viral. Critics have also said he's unpredictable, too radical and too influenced by his religious views.

He's also been accused of being a populist with no policy ideas of his own, who basically just wants to be in charge of the country.

He even had an incident from his days at university dredged up, in which he was accused of allegedly punching the wall next to a female student's head.

A lot of his worry lines may have been worn in over the past few weeks. His campaign would not be described as gaffe-free ...

Joe Hockey

Here's Joe 'George Clooney' Hockey, back in 2010. The treasurer-to-be has lost a LOT of weight.

That's nice, because its not often you see the physical appearance of politicians changing for the better. Good for you, Joe.


When Tony Abbott said Fiona Scott had 'a bit of sex appeal,' he got all sorts from commentators and people on social media.

But not from Hockey. 'Tony says it to me often that I’m a sexy guy. We’ve got a special kind of love going,' he told Channel Ten.'

Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten has been faced with some tough choices, which at very least would have led to a few more wrinkles.

Most recently, he sided with Kevin Rudd over Julia Gillard when the PM re-took power. He had been a staunch supporter of Gillard in all the previous attempts on her job. And right up until the ballot, he was still saying he had her back. Until he emerged from the caucus room and told everyone he actually backed K-Rudd.

Shorten, a former leader of the ACTU, is a key power broker in the Labor Party. Some have dubbed him the 'King Maker.'

It's pretty much accepted that it would have been very hard for him to back Rudd over Gillard, which he said he did to give Labor the best chance at the election -- not that he was a big fan of Rudd.

Here he is, all the way back in 2006, when he was head of the the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

In 2010

And here he is in 2010, being sworn in as a cabinet member by the Governor General after the election.


And now here he is, after making one of the most unpleasant decisions of his career.


Here's another one, taken taken in August this year. The years, they take their toll.

Anthony Albanese

Here's the deputy PM Anthony Albanese, back in 2007.

Right now, he has a lot on his plate. As well as being the Deputy Prime Minister, he's minister for infrastructure and transport, the minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy and the leader of the house of representatives.

His woes are also woven in with Rudd's. Albanese has been a key backer of the on-again off-again PM.

When Rudd quit his job as Foreign Minister in February 2012 to contest the leadership, 'Albo' offered his resignation to Julia Gillard, since he was going to vote for Rudd. But she didn't take it.

Since then he's backed Rudd in all his tilts, until the one where he was successful.


Here's what he looks like in 2013, with ... you guessed it, Kevin Rudd.

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