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For the first time in more than 70 years the federal election delivered a hung parliament. For 17 long days, the nation waited as three rural independents – Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott – negotiated with Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to determine who would form government.

Both Labor and the Coalition made commitments for parliamentary reform and regional development, but it was Gillard who finally emerged at the head of a minority Labor government.

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