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Bill Shorten Will Almost Certainly Lead Labor Until The Next Election

Shorten is safe as Labor leader - for now.

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Labor politicians will meet in Canberra on Friday to officially endorse Bill Shorten as their leader until the next federal election.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

All Labor MPs and senators will gather in the nation's capital for the first time after the election to put an end to rumours of a leadership challenge.

Shorten will be endorsed as leader for the next three years (or until the result of the next federal election). No other leadership positions will be spilled. Tanya Plibersek will stay on as deputy, Penny Wong as leader of the opposition in the senate and Stephen Conroy as her deputy.

On Monday, Anthony Albanese confirmed he wouldn't mount a challenge against Shorten for the leadership of the Labor party.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

Albo told his local paper the 2016 election was like extra time in a football game and “you don’t change captains in extra time. Period”.

“My whole career, I have been a team player and have never put myself before the Labor party and I’m not about to start now,” he said.

Under the new leadership rules, introduced by former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2013, if Labor doesn’t form government at an election the position of leader is automatically spilled, and a new leader decided by an equally weighted ballot of caucus and party members.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

But BuzzFeed News understands Shorten will be the only nominee at Friday's meeting, ruling out the need for a ballot of the party membership.

However, Labor has not ruled out changing the new leadership rules before the next election.

A senior Labor source told BuzzFeed News that powerbrokers were discussing how to change the leadership rules to allow caucus to vote Shorten out "without the rigmarole of a general party vote" just six months ago. The move was quashed by senior Labor figures.

They agreed to give Shorten until after the election to prove himself, and now agree he performed better than anyone expected.

"This is really a fantastic result for Bill," deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said. "He’s led a united team. We have put out a very positive policy agenda. We’ve come closer than anybody ever imagined."

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“I’m sure everyone will be delighted to support him and show that they are so proud of him for the job he’s done,” she said.

While his leadership is secure for the moment, that hasn't stopped Shorten calling for Malcolm Turnbull's head.

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Shorten has called on Turnbull to resign, saying he’s not up to the job and the Australian people have given him no mandate to rule.

“He’s taken this nation to an election on the basis of stability. He’s delivered instability. His own party know he’s not up to the job. Quite frankly, I think he should quit,” Shorten said.

South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi seems to agree, saying Malcolm Turnbull’s future is “up for debate”.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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