Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard convincingly won a leadership vote by the ruling Labour Party over her rival and former premier Kevin Rudd, Australian media reported on Monday.

Gillard won with 73 votes to 29 for Rudd, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing an unidentified source inside the caucus meeting room where the vote was being held.

Party officials were not immediately available to confirm the result.

Gillard called the vote to stamp her authority on the party and stop Rudd's push to regain the leadership after his sudden resignation as foreign minister last week. That move followed weeks of mounting infighting between the two camps.

Gillard, languishing in public opinion polls, now faces a tough task to lift support for Labour and its minority government ahead of general elections scheduled for late 2013.

(Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Paul Tait)