Australia's Gillard calls vote on leadership: reports

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called a special ballot on the leadership of the ruling Labor Party for later Wednesday amid speculation of a leadership challenge, according to local reports.

Australian Associated Press said the "special caucus meeting" of party lawmakers will be held at Parliament House in the capital Canberra at 7 p.m.

According to AAP, Gillard expressed confidence of winning the vote, and said she will leave federal politics if she loses.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he will challenge Gillard for the leadership, according to AAP.

"I will be a candidate," he was quoted as telling reporters.

Gillard became prime minister by challenging Rudd's leadership of the Labor Party in 2010. She has set the next general election to be held on Sept. 14.