Canberra: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she is "incredibly confident" of leading her Labor Party to victory in elections next year despite new polls showing party rival Kevin Rudd would be a more popular leader.
Gillard has called a leadership ballot of Labor lawmakers in a bid to end a bitter power struggle with Rudd, her former foreign minister. Rudd is the clear underdog in Monday`s leadership vote, with Gillard expected to have enough support to remain in power.
But undecided lawmakers may be swayed by three reputable opinion polls published in newspapers on Saturday that showed that the public preferred Rudd as prime minister over Gillard.
Gillard used a Labor regional conference on Saturday to dismiss as "lazy talk" speculation of a Labor defeat in next year`s elections.