INDEPENDENT MP Tony Windsor says his agreement to support Labor was signed by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan and he would have to re-assess his position in the event of a change of leadership.
Mr Windsor, one of three independent MPs plus Greens MP Adam Bandt who backed Labor to form government after the last election, said he doubted there would be any change.
He said he and other independents MPs decided to go with Labor based on who they thought was most interested in governing for three years, not 18 months.
Mr Windsor said Ms Gillard and Mr Swan were signatories to their arrangement so in a sense it was a contract with her.
“If there was a change in leadership I would have to look at those circumstances at the time. I don’t think there will be,” he told ABC television.
Mr Windsor said changing leadership in a hung parliament would be an absurd thing to do because it opened a whole range of risks.
He said any leadership change would likely be followed by an election.
“I couldn’t see myself throwing my support behind Tony Abbott. But maybe if this thing becomes a real loose cannon and meltdown, maybe that’s time the Australian people were asked to make a decision rather than trying to renegotiate another package and arrangement,” he said.
Mr Windsor said much of the leadership speculation was a product of the media – plus some disgruntled Labor faces.
He said he had not been contacted recently by anyone in the Rudd camp, but he had been contacted a year ago during another bout of leadership speculation.
“I had a contact from someone, not in the parliament, probably about 12 months ago … touting that there was going to be a change. That died within days and I think this one has as well,” he said.
Mr Windsor said that was not to say parties didn’t have a right to change their leadership.
“But they can’t expect the status quo to remain in terms of the crossbench,” he said.