The election year battle begins in earnest today when Federal Parliament resumes.
The Coalition starts the year well ahead in the polls but Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is warning his colleagues against complacency, telling them they must appear more like an alternative government.
Ms Gillard used yesterday's meeting of the Labor caucus to issue a warning to her colleagues about backgrounding the media.
But during the meeting Ms Gillard made an implicit criticism of caucus members for leaking to the media, saying she had heard about MPs contacting journalists with a range of negative comments.
Ms Gillard also rejected criticism of her early announcement of the election date, pointing out many jurisdictions have fixed terms.
She has been criticised for giving up a tactical advantage but says there were only a limited range of dates possible for this year's poll.
Left faction powerbroker Senator Doug Cameron also took the Prime Minister to task, saying her treatment of Northern Territory senator Trish Crossin was unfair.
Last month and almost certainly the party's first Indigenous federal representative.
The Prime Minister said it was difficult for Senator Crossin, but she had been troubled that Labor had not had an Indigenous federal representative.
With the weekend revelations that , Ms Gillard shuffled the deck in the ministry and the outer ranks.
But while the Government's ship appeared to have righted itself, two polls out yesterday had Labor trailing the Coalition by up to 12 points.
It prompted former leader .
Shadow cabinet also convened for its pre-parliamentary strategy talks.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott remained focused on rebranding himself as a positive political force.
"Hopefully after the election people will feel that they finally have a government that has their best interests, not it's own survival, at heart," he said.
"So it's going to be a big year and a lot of hard work between now and polling day."
But while it was a message of unity in the two camps, the election year jostling in the ACT began for the top spot on the Liberal Senate ticket.
The incumbent, .
The ABC has been told Mr Seselja has the numbers to win, but Senator Humphries has declared he will put up a fight for himself and for public servants in the national capital.
"I want to make sure that this city is looked after even when hard decisions have to be made about reining in federal expenditure," he said.
Ms Roxon says her resignation is in no way a concession that it is impossible for women to juggle a family and a career.
The former attorney-general has stepped down from Cabinet and plans to retire from politics at the next election.
"And there hadn't been a woman cabinet minister in that sort of role with a small child, and we've been able to make that work.
"But that doesn't mean that I'm going to keep wanting to do that for the next 10 years."