Albanese under growing pressure to nominate for leadership

APN NewsdeskTHE pressure is growing on Anthony Albanese to nominate for the Labor Party leadership, after Bill Shorten turned up the heat by formalising his nomination on Thursday.

Mr Albanese has not yet publicly announced his intention to run, although reports on Thursday said he had told Mr Shorten of his plans.

But Mr Shorten fronted the cameras in Melbourne to officially announce his candidacy, saying he wanted to put the party back into "serious contention" to win back government in three years.

"I am under no illusion as to the task ahead of us. It is devastating to have lost government," he said.

"And we must learn the lessons of this defeat and take up the fight."

Mr Shorten said he could not "sit by and watch the wreckers of Australian politics" tear down what Labor had built in the past six years.

He said he supported key issues, including a carbon price, but left the door open to negotiate with the party caucus should he win the leadership.

But Mr Shorten, a key factional leader from the Victorian right, could face the fight of his political life if Mr Albanese - from the new South Wales left - decides to put up his hand.

New party rules introduced by Kevin Rudd before the election would mean if it does come down to a competition, the winner would need majority support from both the parliamentary wing and the rank and file.

University of Melbourne Public Policy Fellow Nicholas Reece said the contest could mean a leader elected by the party membership might not have majority support of his caucus colleagues.

He said such a situation, similar to recent events in the United Kingdom, could see the new leader come under fire for not having the support of his team.

However, if the history of party president ballots is anything to go by, it is likely Mr Albanese would get majority support from the rank and file, with most recent presidents coming from the left.

Mr Reece said whatever the result, it would be a good thing for the party, helping to close "the revolving door of leadership" that has so plagued it in recent years.


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