Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has revealed she is knitting a red kangaroo for the first baby of Prince William and his wife Kate.
The nation’s first woman leader, battling a tough final week in parliament ahead of September elections amid renewed speculation that she could be ousted from within her own party, found time to tell the Australian Women’s Weekly she had set herself the task of making the toy.
Gillard, known globally for her stance against sexism, said it was important people saw a different side of her beyond the politics.
The prime minister’s office suggested the idea of the knitting story, but the media have made light of it with Sydney’s Daily Telegraph calling it “Spins & Needles” and a “last-stitch bid to woo voters”.
The charm offensive comes amid more bad opinion polls for Gillard and her center-left Labor Party, with the latest Newspoll published in The Australian on Tuesday showing her personal support has crashed to record lows.
The poll found that if an election were held now, Labor would be crushed 56 percent to 44 percent by the conservative opposition led by Tony Abbott, a former minister in John Howard’s government.
Despite knitting for the royal baby, Gillard said she still hoped Australia would one day become a republic.
The heir to the British throne and the duchess of Cambridge are expecting the baby in mid-July.