Bill Shorten triumphs
Bill Shorten has recommitted to fighting the Abbott government's carbon plans after narrowly winning the job of Opposition Leader. He triumphed even though rival Anthony Albanese easily won the backing of Labor Party members.PT2M43S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2vgri 620 349 October 13, 2013
Bill Shorten has been elected Labor leader, despite a clear majority of party members preferring his opponent, Anthony Albanese.
Mr Shorten, 46, of the Right faction, is the first Labor leader to be elected under rules introduced by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, in which the result of a ballot of the Labor rank and file is weighted equally against a ballot of Labor MPs.
ALP leader Bill Shorten shakes hands with defeated candidate Anthony Albanese. Photo: Andrew Meares
Mr Shorten's support among his fellow MPs enabled him to overcome weaker support among the party membership.
He won 55 of the 86 votes in caucus – amounting to the support of 63.95 per cent of his colleagues. Combined with the support of 40.08 per cent of the party membership, Mr Shorten prevailed with an overall vote of 52.02 per cent.
A total of 30,426 party members voted in the election, representing about 74 per cent of the rank and file. Mr Albanese attracted 18,230 rank-and-file votes to Mr Shorten's 12,196.
ALP leader Bill Shorten speaks after winning the ALP leadership ballot. Photo: Andrew Meares
Chris Bowen, who has served as interim leader during the month-long leadership contest, described Mr Shorten as "a man who has dedicated his working life to representing vulnerable people ... whether they be workers (or) people with a disability".
"People right across the country have a friend and supporter in Bill Shorten," Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra.
Mr Bowen also praised Mr Albanese, 50, of the Left faction, as "a great warrior for our cause" who continued to have a "very significant" contribution to make in Parliament.
ALP leader Bill Shorten with his wife, Chloe, after winning the ballot on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Meares
Asked whether the result provided an argument for the leadership to be entirely determined by party members, Mr Bowen said he believed the new system struck the right balance. "I think this process is now here to stay," he said.
"This is a very tight result but it's a result that has the support of the entire party.
"Yes, there'll be branch members who will be disappointed that their candidate didn't win but I think they'll be very grateful that they had a say, and they'll have a say into the future.
Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten arrive for the ALP leadership ballot announcement at Parliament House in Canberra on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Meares
"Never again can the branch members of our great party be taken for granted or ignored. Anybody who seeks to lead the Labor Party will need to pay them due deference and respect."
Under the new system, each vote in caucus was worth 354 votes from ordinary members.
Earlier, Labor strategist Bruce Hawker said over time Labor should move to a system where the exclusive power to choose the leader was given to party members.
Opposition spokesman on education and workplace relations Bill Shorten campaigning for the leadership of the Labor Party at the Clifton Park Bowling Club in Victoria. Photo: Mal Fairclough
"We've got a 50-50 system and I think that's a good start. I think over time we should move further to a full rank and file selection of the leader," he told Channel Ten.
"I think we're going to find that people are going to be demanding more reform inside the Labor Party rather than less," he said.
But speaking after Mr Shorten's victory, party national president Jenny McAllister said she did not envisage future Labor leaders being elected exclusively by the rank and file.