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.