Albo's bold pitch for Labor leadership

ANTHONY Albanese has made a bold pitch to be the next Labor leader while acknowledging the party needs to do some soul-searching about its shock election defeat.

Mr Albanese gave a press conference at the Unity Hall pub in Sydney to announce he would be running for the leadership just moments after Bill Shorten issued a statement saying he would ask the Labor executive to immediately begin the process of electing his replacement.

In making his pitch, Mr Albanese said running for leadership did not come naturally to him but he declared he would be able to take the Coalition on in a "vigorous fashion", while also being able to "reach across the aisle" to get things done.

"What you see is what you get with me, for better or worse," Mr Albanese said.

Anthony Albanese has been tipped as the candidate most likely to lead Labor after the defeat of Bill Shorten. Picture: Kym Smith
Anthony Albanese has been tipped as the candidate most likely to lead Labor after the defeat of Bill Shorten. Picture: Kym Smith

"I am a bit rough at the edges, but I think that Australians don't want someone who just utters talking points.

"So from time to time, I will not be as articulate as someone who is simply reading from a script.

"But I offer myself forward. I do it in a way which I wasn't expecting, frankly.

"The truth is that I, along with others, was expecting a different result.

"I am disappointed by the results that we got.

"But it is now time to stand up, dust ourselves off, and get on with the business of making Labor an opposition that holds the government to account but also a political party that offers a different agenda to the government - a fairer agenda, a more inclusive agenda, an agenda that brings the nation together on economic, social and environmental policies so that we can meet the challenges of the future."

Mr Albanese also said: "I sometimes get things wrong. If I do that, I will say that that is the case.

"I am someone who can take on the other side of the text in a vigorous fashion ... What they will also know is that I am prepared to reach out across the aisle, and if an idea is good and it needs bipartisan support."

Labor would need to examine, both among its MPs and national executive, "exactly how things could have been improved and why we fell short in forming government," he said.

Tanya Plibersek says Clive Palmer is to blame for Labor’s election loss.
Tanya Plibersek says Clive Palmer is to blame for Labor’s election loss.


Earlier this morning, the deputy Labor leader told ABC's Insiders two things contributed to Labor's crushing election defeat.

"The first is obviously we faced a cashed-up scare campaign from the United Australia Party, $80 million is the estimate of how much Clive Palmer spent - not to, it seems, win himself a spot, but to trash Labor," Ms Plibersek said.

"Secondly, our policy agenda was big. It was bold. But ... And I think perhaps we didn't have enough time to explain all of the benefits of it to the people who would benefit. I think genuinely, if every pensioner and seniors health care card-holder knew about pensioner dental, they would have voted for it. I think if every family who was going to benefit from free or cheaper childcare knew about it, they would have voted for it.

"I think if every working person who thought they were going to get their penalty rates restored or get a pay rise under Labor knew about that, they would have voted for it. But when you've got such a large agenda, it's sometimes hard to explain all of the details to all of the people who benefit."

Ms Plibersek said Mr Palmer's voice drowned out the Labor Party.

Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek are the frontrunners to replace Bill Shorten as Labor leader after the party suffered a shock defeat at the federal election.

The party faces weeks if not months of rebuilding after the unexpected loss, including being forced to overhaul a policy platform that Australians overwhelmingly rejected on May 18.

"Albo", who narrowly missed out on the leadership to Mr Shorten in 2013, has confirmed that he will throw his hat in the ring when Labor holds its upcoming leadership ballot.

Labor Party Tanya Plibersek may also be put forward as a contender. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Labor Party Tanya Plibersek may also be put forward as a contender. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Ms Plibersek, Labor's deputy leader and another member of Labor's left faction, is also likely to contest.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, a member of the right faction, is another potential contender, while Shadow Finance Minister Jim Chalmers has also been talked up as a future Labor leader.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen could potentially lead Labor. Picture: Supplied
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen could potentially lead Labor. Picture: Supplied


Labor's leader in the Senate Penny Wong has ruled out moving to the lower house to run for leader, bluntly saying it wasn't an option when asked on ABC last night.

"We'll go through that process," Senator Wong said when asked about who the next Labor leader would be last night.

"I'm sure it will be well looked at. But I think, more importantly, we obviously have to regroup.

"We didn't expect to be where we are. We have to regroup, and I think, focus on the next election."

Penny Wong has said that leading Labor for her would not be an option. Picture: Kym Smith
Penny Wong has said that leading Labor for her would not be an option. Picture: Kym Smith

In his concession speech last night, Mr Shorten confirmed he would step down as leader but would remain in parliament.

"To be able to have served as leader of the Labor Party for five and a half years is a greater honour than anyone in my family before me, or I, could have dreamt of when I joined the local branch 35 years ago," he told party faithful in Melbourne.

Bill Shorten has stepped down as opposition leader leaving a void in Labor’s leadership. Picture: Kym Smith
Bill Shorten has stepped down as opposition leader leaving a void in Labor’s leadership. Picture: Kym Smith

"I wish we could have formed a government for these Australians on this evening. I wish we could have won for the true believers, for our brothers and sisters in the mighty trade union movement.

"I wish we could have done it for Bob.

"But it was not to be. Labor's next victory will belong to our next leader and I'm confident that victory will come at the next election."

Labor will now need to hold ballots for the leadership in both NSW and its federal team.



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