Ultimately, as Mark Kenny said on ABC Insiders yesterday, unions will determine whether Gillard stays or goes.
Well, partly right, because it is union bosses, not union members, that make these decisions.
Many members of the ALP federal caucus owe their pre-selections to the support of individual unions, particularly the right-wing unions - the AWU and the SDA. Other significant unions include the CFMEU, AMWU, TWU and NUW.
So far Shorten and the AWU seem to be holding firm, and there is little or no media coverage of what the SDA or other unions are doing. Union leaders, who helped bring down Mr Rudd and have supported Ms Gillard's leadership, are also conceding her hold on the top job is over. But the Prime Minister is denying claims from within Labor that cabinet minister Bill Shorten - the former Australian Workers Union national secretary and key member of the Victorian Right - has withdrawn his pivotal support. - The Australian
"We support the Prime Minister," said Mr Howes, the AWU national secretary who in February told Ms Gillard that the union "has got ya back". - news.com.au
Paul Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, to which Mr Shorten and Treasurer Wayne Swan are allied, is also backing Ms Gillard. - AFR
Rudd loyalists believe that if Mr Shorten switched allegiances, along with his Australian Workers Union faction, it would be enough to force Ms Gillard to step down. He influences five or six votes in the 71-strong caucus, which is roughly split on the leadership issue. - West Australian