Labor leader and numbers man Bill Shorten is reportedly telling nervous MPs this week that the party should dump Bill Shorten from the top job, lest the federal Labor Party face a crushing defeat on election day, the likes of which they haven’t seen in weeks.
Amid growing concerns about his own leadership, Mr Shorten is said to have told MPs that his own unpopularity with rank-and-file members was “killing” the opposition’s chances at the next election, due to his “undeserved” reputation for unseating party leaders. In an unprecedented move Mr Shorten has called a press conference in the parliamentary gallery for late Friday to announce his change of support to rival leader Anthony Albanese, much to the dismay of the Shorten camp.
This move comes only weeks after Mr Albanese’s previous leadership bid came to an abrupt end, following a failed run for the top job that saw Mr Albanese only collect 62% of rank-and-file votes, well short of the 120% of votes required to outweigh factional backing.
Despite Mr Shorten’s attempt to unseat himself, backers of the Shorten leadership within the Labor party have declared they will not give in without a fight, and will continue to canvas numbers and rally members behind Mr Shorten, even without Mr Shorten’s support.
Mr Shorten has indicated he will spend his future time out of office working on his memoirs, running a client state with his mother in law, and undermining Mr Albanese from the sidelines.