Australia's opposition Labor Party has elected a new leader, former diplomat Kevin Rudd.

Rudd won a poll of labor lawmakers on Monday by a margin of 49 to 30 votes. He ousted Kim Beazley who led the party to defeats in 1998 and 2001.

Rudd will lead the party in an upcoming vote against the ruling conservatives, led by Prime Minister John Howard.

Mr. Howard's coalition has been in power since 1996.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.