Albanese intends to run: report

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Hopes among some Labor members that the party would be able to choose its next leader without a divisive leadership race are likely to be dashed, as Anthony Albanese has told Bill Shorten he plans to run, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Mr Shorten is set to enter the leadership race, but has indicated his hope for a single-candidate nomination rather than a race between candidates to help the party move on from the divisive battle between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

Mr Shorten's preference for a single-candidate nomination has prompted some Labor members to insist there must be multiple contenders.

The carbon tax could prove to be the highest-profile issue separating leadership candidates. Mr Shorten strongly opposes the coalition's pledge to abolish the carbon tax and emissions trading scheme, but some members of Mr Shorten's Right faction have broken ranks to say Labor should allow the coalition to move ahead with its carbon plan.

Dreyfus backs Shorten

Federal Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus said Mr Shorten would make a better party leader than Mr Albanese.

"I'll be backing Bill Shorten," Mr Dreyfus told Sky News.

"It's a difficult choice but I think that on balance, he would be the best leader of the two."

Kevin Rudd is set to stand aside as Labor leader on Friday during a caucus meeting in Canberra.

Mr Dreyfus says both MPs would make excellent opposition leaders.

"It shows the depth that we have in the party," he said.

"We've got a lot of people who are going to make a very, very strong team."

Conroy eyes frontbench

Elsewhere in the Labor party, Senator Stephen Conroy has flagged his desire to return to Labor's frontbench, saying he's got a role to play in holding the coalition to account from opposition.

Senator Conroy, a key ally of former prime minister Julia Gillard, quit as communications minister and Senate leader when Kevin Rudd took over the Labor leadership in June.

The senior Labor figure is planning a comeback, and says he'll be throwing his hat into the ring for Labor's frontbench.

"I've spoken to a range of my colleagues in the last couple of days since the election and indicated that I'll be a candidate for the frontbench," he told Sky News on Wednesday.

"I want to be part of holding Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey to all of their promises, and more importantly to the frauds they've been engaged in."

Senator Conroy also dismissed suggestions Labor's next leader be determined by a split vote between the partyroom and its rank and file members.

Under new rules, if there are two or more candidates running for the leadership the outcome will be decided in a ballot weighted 50 per cent to the caucus and 50 per cent to grassroots party members.

Senator Conroy said the parliamentary Labor Party should have the right to pick and choose its leader.

"A parliamentary Labor leader cannot sustain their leadership if they do not have the support of a majority of their colleagues," he said.

"These rules that have been put in place will make us an absolute laughing stock."

He urged Labor to stop "gazing at our own navels" and get on with forming a leadership team and take the coalition to task.

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Anonymous,

Poor Billy was hoping for no competition. Unfortunately for him Albo is quite a likeable chap, despite his leftist politics. Billy on the other hand is just another grub from the union movement, not terribly dissimilar to Craig Thompson.
Either will be a good choice for Abbott to tear to shreds.

Anonymous,

Conroy wants back in and is planning a comeback. Now he doesn't agree with the new way to vote the party leader in. Well the majority of his party obviously did as it passed the vote. So he wants to hold the new government to "the frauds they've been engaged in"?? And these frauds would be.......? Yes, let him back on the front bench where he can make these accusations louder and clearer. It must be lonely on the backbench where no-one pays him any attention now! Another Labor joke. lol :o)

Anonymous,

Goodness me! What a choice! A union thug or a socialist socialist. And then Conroy is yapping at the heels as well. How lucky we are in Australia to have access to all this outstanding political talent.

Anonymous,

Pretty funny about Conroy talking about fraud.

Anonymous,

"...will make us an absolute laughing stock." Senator Conroy, you should be talking in the present tense, not the future tense; Labor already is an absolute laughing stock.
With the likes of Shorten, Albo, Plibersek, Wong, Conroy et al on the front bench, Labor will remain unelectable.

Anonymous,

So how much does the winner need to win by ?

Anonymous,

I think Shorten is much maligned. He will be remembered for the NDIS and ought to be remembered for fighting off Swan and Treasury's attempt to punish self funded retirees. He opposes class warfare and those voices in the ALP should be supported. People have short memories. Rudd was a danger to the country at the time of the putsch and Shorten did the right thing by working to get rid of him. It was a big political mistake for him but I think it was the right decision for the country. Gillard was the lesser disaster of two disasters and at the time I was hoping Tanner would take over when it was clear that something had to be done about Rudd. She was out of touch and had no political instincts or presentation skills but she wasn't going to wreck the country the way Rudd would have.

They now face another difficult choice partly because the malign presence of Rudd remains. His strong supporter Albo will have popular appeal but doesn't have Shorten's substance, vision or ability. Albo will give Rudd a role eventually, perhaps even the foreign ministry portfolio that he stuffed up last time and Rudd's constant grandstanding presence will remind the public of what an unmitigated disaster his government was. The press will spend the rest of the time speculating about Shorten wanting the leadership, reminding everyone that Labor is divided and full of stupid politicians. Albo is standing on behalf of the Rudd faction and if I was Abbott I would be licking my lips at the prospect of more than a decade in power.

Anonymous,

Abbott in for a decade? Not possible. The environment would be ruined before that. So too the economy, and government finances. Broadband problems. PPL. I think it'll be the opposition getting stuck into Abbott rather than the other way round. Before long, 3% or more of the electorate will shift back to Labor.

Anonymous,

chrispy Labor is so funny, first they all rally around K Rudd for voting reform and now 10 seconds after the election they are all saying that it is a silly policy and unworkable, it's classic and shows how every other thing they said before the election was basically just a ruse to win votes and would have been changed after the election, like the carbon tax etc. they will literally do or say anything to win and stay in power, thank goodness we are rid of them

Anonymous,

Ah Crispy the problem is Labors primary vote after postals and absentees dribble in is going to be about 33percent.This is the lowest since 1906 so you need a lot more than a 3 percent swing if your not simply going to form a Labor/Greens/Miscellaneos coalition which just gave us 3 years of chaos.Rather than hope for the government to become unpopular Labor has to engage in genuine internal reform to persuadfe a majority of voters that it is worthy of support.

Anonymous,

Note to Conroy: You are already an absolute laughing stock!
After 4 years of leadership malfunction you now have to face up to one of Rudd's embarrassingly unimpressive thought bubbles. Yes this is the same thought bubble that was meant to remove (prior to the election) the issue of uncertainty over Labor's leadership. Your caucus thought it was a good idea at the time didn't it? Or was it a case of disingenuous support from an already corrupted party room? What a joke!
The fact that none of you could see this one coming just reinforces for me Labor's unfitness for office.
Look on the bright side though. Had you won the election you would now be dealing with at least 4 equally embarrassing thought bubbles!

Anonymous,

Albanese knew all along that he'd run and all he was doing was waiting to see just how deep was the well of support for him. How Anthony's managed to so nonchalantly contain himself so well for so long is a credit to him. When he does let loose with whoopee he's gonna be just like a kangaroo with two pou_ches't-beating!

We can quite reliably now count on Anthony dishing it up to the Coalition in exactly the same manner as did Paul Keating to John Hewson et al_banese.

Anonymous,

There is a lot of talent in the Labor party. As long as they can unite, I think they can beat Abbott at the next election. Doubt Abbott can fulfill his promises. People will then realise that and vote him out in 2016. Unless, of course, again if the Murdoch backed papers and biased journalists help him to win in an unprecedented 'advertising blitz i.e. front pages putting down Labor etc '