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Bill Shorten will promise reforms to make it easier for supporters to join the Labor Party and influence policy decisions in his attempt to succeed Kevin Rudd and draw a line under Labor's era of leadership tensions and internal divisions.
Mr Shorten expects Anthony Albanese to nominate for the leadership when Labor MPs meet on Friday for the first time since the election drubbing on Saturday, triggering a membership ballot that will take weeks to resolve.
The contest could require the two to put their case to the party's rank and file in live televised debates as the party seeks to engage members in the contest.
Mr Shorten would start favourite to win the caucus ballot and Mr Albanese favourite to win the membership ballot, with each counting 50 per cent towards the final vote.
Declaring his candidacy on Thursday, Mr Shorten vowed to reignite Labor's base and build its membership if endorsed by the combined caucus and membership votes under new rules introduced by Mr Rudd.
Although he expressed confidence he would prevail, Mr Shorten said Mr Albanese was an outstanding MP who would serve Labor well if elected leader.
He urged the party to embrace ''a new civility'' in the conduct of the ballot, saying the public was interested in ideas.
''They don't want to hear us talking about ourselves and certainly not disparaging each other,'' he said.
Mr Albanese will announce his intentions at the meeting and is widely tipped to have more grassroots support than Mr Shorten.
If Mr Albanese does not stand, Mr Shorten will become leader and Tanya Plibersek is tipped to become the deputy leader.
On Friday, Mr Albanese was tight-lipped when he arrived in Canberra before the caucus meeting.
When asked if he was running for the Labor leadership, he replied: ''That's a matter for the caucus, rather than for you, with due respect.''
''One of the things that we have to do as a Labor party is to actually run our internals,'' Mr Albanese told reporters. ''There's a reason for that word. It's called internal.''
If Mr Albanese stands, nominations will remain open for seven days and the ballot will be conducted after the membership vote, which would take a fortnight. It is likely MPs would not know the outcome of the membership ballot when they cast their votes.
Ms Plibersek, the former health minister, will support Mr Albanese, a factional ally from the Left, if he contests the ballot.
Although Mr Shorten, backed by the Right, declined to expand on his ideas for reform, he has previously argued the case for making it easier to join the party.
''What organisation in the world encourages members but says you can only join during one hour on the third Wednesday each month at a particular location?'' he has said.
He has vowed to make the party more ''encouraging and welcoming'' to members and to give them more say on policy.
Citing his role in building support for DisabilityCare as an example, he said: ''Labor can win the battle of ideas if we are sincere, if we're authentic and if we encourage people to get involved with the Labor Party.''