Julia Gillard

Australian opposition's PM pick helped oust 2 predecessors

Political powerbroker Bill Shorten played a key role in ousting two Australian prime ministers — both members of his own party and politicians he had once supported. That history of fickle loyalty may come back to haunt him as he seeks to lead the country.

Shorten is leading the center-left Labor Party in the July 2 general election, and his opponents in the conservative Liberal Party hope to exploit his connections to the dysfunction of recent Labor governments.

He was part of a party coup that replaced Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with his deputy Julia Gillard in 2010, after which he was rewarded with a promotion to her Cabinet. But by 2013, Shorten's allegiance had...