Tanya Plibersek rules herself out of Labor leadership race

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has confirmed she won’t contest the Labor leadership following the party’s shock election loss.

Bill Shorten announced on Saturday night that he would not stand in the leadership ballot after leading Labor to two election losses.

Ms Plibersek has spent the last 24 hours consulting colleagues and had the support of Mr Shorten and the public backing of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.


But she announced on Monday that she wouldn’t be a contender, saying now is not her time.

“At this point, I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership,” Ms Plibersek said in a statement. 

Her decision prevents an awkward showdown among the party’s Left faction after Anthony Albanese confirmed he would put his hand up.

Mr Albanese remains the only confirmed leadership contender at this stage, declaring on Sunday that he was the best person to rebuild the party.

“What you see is what you get with me, for better or worse,”Mr Albanese said.

“I’m a bit rough at the edges but I think that Australians don’t want someone who just utters talking points.

“So, from time to time, I won’t be as articulate as someone reading from a script.”

Mr Albanese won the support of grassroots members in the Labor leadership ballot in 2013 but lost the overall vote when the caucus backed Bill Shorten.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is still weighing up whether to run for the leadership.

But as the chief architect of Labor’s controversial tax reforms, experts see him as a liability.

Shadow Finance Spokesperson Jim Chalmers and Shadow Defence Spokesperson Richard Marles have also been mentioned as possible contenders.