Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek and Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese have piled the pressure on party leader Bill Shorten, gaining more votes in a recent poll on who should lead the party to the next Federal election.
The poll, published by The Australian, showed almost half of voters would rather someone other than Shorten lead the Labor party, with deputy leader Tanya Plibersek and Albanese coming out top. While 25 per cent voted in favour of Plibersek, 24 per cent preferred Albanese, and 22 per cent voted for Shorten to remain in the hot seat.
“This is going to be a very bleak year for Bill Shorten – unfortunately the public have found him out,” cabinet minister Christopher Pyne told ABC radio on Monday.
However, Labor voters appear to still be behind Shorten, with 37 per cent voting for him to remain at the top. Senior Labor frontbencher Tony Burke said Shorten will likely lead the party through the next election, telling news.com.au: “We don’t want to go back to the days, which the Liberal Party are still in, of constant leadership change and speculation.”
Albanese gained support from many when, just weeks ago, he called for “referendums on the republic and indigenous constitutional recognition” to be held on a January 26, following controversy over Australia Day.
Speaking at a citizenship ceremony in Sydney’s Grayndler, he suggested Australia Day could remain the same, but called for two ballots on the main issues confronting the national identity of indigenous people. Albanese wants a referendum recognising the first Australians in the Constitution, with a second question on a republic to debate the nation’s future.
Meanwhile, Labor came out ahead in the two-party preferred poll with 52 per cent of the votes, against the Coalition Government’s 48 per cent. However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still more popular than Shorten to remain in power, outstripping him 45 per cent to Shorten’s 31 per cent.
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