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Shorten Likely To Remain As Labor Leader, But Turnbull Could Be Dumped From Liberals

One spent the day doing a victory lap, the other stayed home.

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The morning after the morning after and still no result from the longest election campaign in Australian history. The Australian Electoral Commission will continue counting on Tuesday, but they're predicting it may take two weeks to finalise the results. Meaning, we might not know who the prime minister is until the end of July.

Despite not knowing if he's won, drawn or, as he says "come second", Bill Shorten has embarked on a thank you tour of the country. On Monday he was met by cheers on the streets of Penrith, bombarded with selfie requests and chants of "go Shorty" and "we want Bill!"

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Labor's thank you tour kicked off in Sydney's West where it picked up three seats from the Liberals on Saturday night - Macarthur, Lindsay and Macquarie.

Shorten's planning similar visits to Queensland, Tasmania and possibly Western Australian in upcoming days, and Labor predict he'll be met with similar fan-fair.

His pseudo-victory lap is in stark contrast to Malcolm Turnbull, who is holed-up in his Point Piper Mansion in Sydney.

Both leaders have spent the last 24 hours on the phone to the crossbench politicians who may decide Australia's next prime minister if we end up with a hung parliament.

Labor 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.

Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

"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.

"He Brexit-ed himself!” he zinged.

Conservative politicians are blaming the Liberals poor result on Malcolm Turnbull, saying tens of thousands of Australians abandoned the party in favour of One Nation and Derryn Hinch because the PM refused to talk about boats, asylum seekers, immigration and islam.

They say with Tony Abbott as Prime Minister they would have retained the seats they lost in Queensland, NSW and Tasmania.

South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi says Malcolm Turnbull’s future is “up for debate”.

He told 2GB on Monday afternoon that the Liberal party had neglected the issues and concerns of mainstream Australia so they looked (and voted) somewhere else.

During the campaign Turnbull said Pauline Hanson was “not a welcome presence in the Australian political scheme”, which conservatives fear sent a message to people that their views won’t be represented by the LNP.

Labor hasn't officially won, drawn or lost the election, but that hasn't stopped whispers about the future of Shorten's leadership.

Since Saturday he's maintained he has "no concerns" about a possible challenge after the result is announced.

"I haven't felt more secure in my position as leader at any time in the last three years as I do today," he maintained.


Albanese said he won't mount a leadership challenge telling his local paper the election was like extra time in a football game and “you don’t change captains in extra time. Period.”

William West / AFP / Getty Images

“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,” Mr Albanese said.

Technically, no one can put up their hand to challenge Bill Shorten for the leadership until Labor officially loses the election.

Under the new leadership rules, brought in by Kevin Rudd in 2013, if Labor doesn't form government, the position of leader is automatically spilled.

If more than one person nominates, a ballot of the parliamentary Labor Party and the broader party membership will be held to determine the outcome.

The only way to then remove the leader would be for 60% of Labor caucus members to sign a petition requesting a new election.

If there is a leadership spill, it may take a month or so to determine who will be the next Labor leader.

The lack of a clear result hasn't stopped rumours about Shorten's future being spread, with former deputy Labor leader Anthony Albanese's name at the centre of them.

Members of both the left and the right in the Labor Party are lining up to declare Bill Shorten has their full support to remain leader of the party.

BuzzFeed News couldn't find a single person from either side that would commit to voting for someone other than Shorten in a future leadership spill.

Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has ruled out putting her hand up for the leadership on Radio National on Monday and she can't see anyone else having a claim on Labor's leadership.

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

"This is really a fantastic result for Bill. He's led a united team. We have put out a very positive policy agenda. We've come closer than anybody ever imagined. On top of the fact, obviously, we saw off Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey some time ago, we have now seen off another Liberal Prime Minister.

"I think Bill's achievement speaks for itself. He has done a great job. 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.

Labor MPs Stephen Conroy, Michelle Rowland, Nick Champion and Brendan O'Connor have also publicly backed Shorten.

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

Contact Alice Workman at

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