Bendigo political leaders respond to Kevin Rudd's return to the top   

LAST night's axing of Julia Gillard will make little difference to Labor's election bid, according to the party's candidate for Bendigo Lisa Chesters. 

Ms Chesters said the Prime Minister was just one member of a larger party. 

"For me it changes very little," she said. 

"There's a Labor agenda and a plan  for Bendigo and for our country. 

"And today, like yesterday, I'm out there talking to people about what that plan is."

The Bendigo Advertiser has contacted all candidates for the seat of Bendigo and sitting MP Steve Gibbons.

Mr Gibbons has not commented. 

Nationals candidate Sarah Sheedy said it was “very interesting times indeed” but said there was “not a whole lot I can say at this stage”.

Palmer United Party candidate Matine Rahmani said the leadership changed proved his point that the political system was broken.

“I see this as example of why I’m standing,” he said.

“In my view Labor is destroyed and they will lose regardless of what they do and I do not want Tony Abbott in power.

“The political system has fallen apart.

“The Australian people and myself have lost confidence in the political system and the government’s ability to lead Australia.”

Liberal candidate Greg Bickley is filming an advertisement and could not be reached for comment.

Greens candidate Lachlan Slade said he could not comment yet.

Kevin Rudd was legally sworn in as prime minister this morning by Governor General Quentin Bryce after winning Labor party’s federal leadership vote. The result was 57 votes for Mr Rudd and 45 votes for Julia Gillard.

Anthony Albanese is deputy Labor leader.  

Labor whip Chris Hayes said both contestants spoke before the caucus vote.

“The mood was quite sombre,” he said. “Most people are happy that the issue of the leadership is now put behind us so the party can now concentrate on preparing for the September election.”

The meeting took almost an hour to get a result on the leadership because the votes were counted one by one. “I think the prime minister wanted certainly to advise of her vision and the strength over her leadership in pursuing that vision for the nation,” he said.

“Any of these challenges, I think, are particularly emotional. They’re all human beings out there so please take that into account.”

Normally outspoken Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons remained tight-lipped after Mr Rudd was reinstated as leader of the Labor Party. The staunch Ms Gillard supporter did not return the Bendigo Advertiser’s calls and was quiet on Twitter after the ballot.

Bendigo Labor candidate Lisa Chesters was keen to get the conversation back to policy, rather than personal politics. 

“The people in the Labor Party are very passionate and have strong conviction in their beliefs. Situations like this happen when passionate people disagree,” she said.

“I will continue to campaign on what’s important to Australians which is ensuring that they will have jobs they can count on.”

The Advertiser Advertiser is trying to contact Liberal candidate Greg Bickley.

Greens candidate Lachlan Slade is unable to comment until later today. 

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