Former Labor leader Mark Latham says he voted for Bill Shorten to take the party’s top job, but he doesn’t think he backed a winner.
About 30,000 ALP members have had their say in the party’s leadership ballot, and Mr Shorten on Friday said he was ‘‘quietly confident’’ enough rank-and-file voters would support him to become the new leader.
But Mr Latham told the Seven Network on Saturday he believed Anthony Albanese would prevail when the results were announced on Sunday.‘‘I voted for Bill Shorten in the ballot and I’m hopeful he might win tomorrow, but on the balance, probably Anthony Albanese will get the job,’’ he said.‘‘The important thing is for Labor to get behind one leader who will be there at the next election.’’
He said Sunday’s victor would be the party’s seventh leader in four years and stability was now the top priority.‘‘The whole point of Labor party reform is to put the sub-factional warlords out of business,’’ he said.‘‘These are the 25 or so little bosses who’ve been trying to run everything in the caucus for everyone else.
‘‘It’s created an environment of chaos.’’Under reforms introduced by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, caucus and members are given a 50-50 say in party leadership contests.‘‘I think the more power you give to the party membership, the more stability you’ll have in Canberra,’’ Mr Latham said.
ALP president Jenny McAllister told Seven the leadership contest had been ‘‘incredibly energising’’.‘‘In the process we’ve also had about 4500 people make inquiries about how to join,’’ she said.
‘‘People like to see us talking in positive ways about what we could contribute to the Australian public rather than tearing ourselves apart.’’Asked whether she believed any women MPs would nominate for the deputy position, she replied: ‘‘I hope so; we’ll see what happens.‘‘Everyone seems to like Tanya Plibersek, don’t they.’’ AAP