Albo All But Secures Labor Leadership After Rival Pulls Out
The next leader of the Labor Party is nearly a lock, after Jim Chalmers pulled out of the race on Thursday.
Just days ago, the leadership race featured Chris Bowen, Jim Chalmers, and Anthony Albanese following the election. Tanya Plibersek declined to contend with an early statement referring to family responsibilities.
But the field has been whittled down to just one at this stage, with both Bowen and Chalmers pulling out of the race, leaving Albanese to -- seemingly unopposed -- secure leadership of the opposition.
The MP for Sydney electorate Grayndler has gained widespread support from Labor MPs with Senator Penny Wong stating earlier this week that she believes Albanese is the "best person to lead us" and "the best person to take up the fight to Scott Morrison and the Coalition".
Chalmers called Albanese to offer his "enthusiastic support" earlier today.
Chalmers said in a statement that despite receiving support for the leadership himself, "I couldn't be assured of winning, and if I did win the extra responsibilities of leadership would make it much harder to do my bit at home".
READ MORE: Anthony Albanese Will Run For Labor Leader
Albanese is expected to unify the Labor party on the basis of a 'blue collar' focus with sharper messages about jobs and the economy.
Announcing his bid for leadership on Sunday, Albanese said that he would not be compromising his brand and would stick to creating a government that "deals with the big challenges by bringing people together."
"We need unions and businesses, people who live in our cities, the outer suburbs, or in the regions, to come together and recognise that what unites us as a nation is far greater than what divides us," he said.
Speaking today, Albanese said the magnitude of the voters' swing against Labor in the federal election was a significant problem but he doesn't think it "should be a cause for despair".
"I think it should be a cause for determination. We must work with the people of Australia wherever and whoever they are, to build a blueprint for a better country."
Clare O'Neil, member for Hotham, congratulated Albanese on his success and said that she is considering a run for deputy leadership -- a position that Chalmers has now been tipped to assume.
More to come.