Bill Shorten is a pretty clever guy. He was the power broker behind Gillard’s coup on the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. He then decided it was time for Gillard to go and for Rudd to step in again. After this he helps Rudd change the rules for a leadership spill to make it overly cumbersome to replace a leader.
Roll forward to the election…
Labor loses and Rudd steps down. Time for a new leader. Now here is the problem, if more than one person puts their hand up, the vote has to go to the rank and file instead of just the party room, meaning it will take a few weeks to organise a vote.
Now Shorten quickly puts his hand up for the leadership. Now that Albo has decided to throw his hat into the ring we have a drawn out vote that will leave Labor leaderless for weeks. His actions may be seen as not in the “best interests of the party” because it removes the possibility of a seamless transition to the new leader and Labor desperately needs to show unity after the last few months.
Most likely result?
Shorten will be the new leader and it’s going to be a tough job to get rid of him. Albo may be convinced to withdraw and be the deputy. No more “night of the long knives”.
Is this the culmination of a long term plan of Shorten’s or am I reading too much into it?