Senior Federal Minister Bill Shorten says he has not been canvassed by his colleagues about changing the leadership of the Labor Party.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard faced a damaging opinion poll earlier this week which continued a trend against Labor and her personally.

Mr Shorten, a factional powerbroker who is considered a major player in deciding who should lead the party, maintains he has not been approached by colleagues to consider making a tilt for the leadership.

Speaking to the media in Darwin, he dismissed a series of questions about the issue.

Reporter: If the Prime Minister's leadership has become untenable have you spoken to anyone about the leadership?

Shorten: No.

Reporter: Have any of your supporters canvassed you as a possible option for the leadership?

Shorten: No.

Reporter: Have any of your colleagues come to you asking you to make a tilt for the leadership?

Shorten: No.

Reporter: Is it time for Julia Gillard to consider best interests of the party and step aside and have someone new?

Shorten: I know you have to ask those questions but I can't take that question seriously.

Mr Shorten was in Darwin last night to attend a fundraising event for the Labor candidate for the seat of Solomon, Luke Gosling.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations says both he and Ms Gillard are committed to creating future growth in the Territory.

"Our Prime Minister is a tough leader for tough times and we will continue to focus on jobs in Darwin and the Territory," he said.

'People are wrong to write us off'

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Stephen Smith says the Government can still win the next election.

"It was always going to be a competition," has told ABC News Breakfast.

"Those people who write the Government off will be wrong, just as in the past people who have written off previous governments [have been wrong].

"At various times, the Hawke government, Keating government and Howard were written off. People are wrong to write us off."

Mr Smith says despite the media commentary, former prime minister Kevin Rudd has no plan to challenge for the Labor leadership.

"The person that I've seen from afar do the most to hose down leadership speculation has been Kevin himself," he said.

"You will recall when Kevin was resoundingly defeated ... he said at the time he would not challenge again.

"He went further and said that if anyone else tried to challenge he would effectively be a human shield between anyone who is challenging and the Prime Minister.

"He has made it clear repeatedly and consistently that there is no vacancy, he is not proposing to challenge and that's the basis on which I proceed."


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