Bill Shorten Elected Labor Leader On Votes From MPs

Getty/ Andrew Taylor

Shorten, a factional heavyweight from the Victorian right, beat Anthony Albanese in a leadership vote that for the first time allowed ordinary members of the party a say in the leadership contest.

Under new rules introduced by Kevin Rudd designed to reduce leadership instability, rank-and-file members of the Labor party voted for their choice of leader in a ballot over the past month.

Some 30,000 party members were eligible to vote. Albanese was expected to carry the popular element by about 60-40 while Shorten was thought to have a slim advantage in the caucus vote among MPs. Both votes carried a 50-50 weighting.

In an email to Labor members, interim leader Chris Bowen said:

With a Caucus vote of 63.95% and a membership vote of 40.08% which totals 52.02%, the new Leader is Bill Shorten. This historic vote which combines the votes of Labor Caucus with the votes of 30,426 Labor Party members – a 74% turnout – has changed our great Party forever and is already making us stronger. Since the leadership campaign started more than 4,500 people have said they want to join Labor.

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