“If I had run, I would have won”

The day after Shorten’s defeat by Scott Morrison on May 18, 2019, Plibersek told the ABC’s Insiders that, “I’ll talk to my colleagues today but, of course, I’m considering it [a run at the leadership].”

Shorten urged colleagues to back Plibersek and former prime minister Julia Gillard endorsed her, but the member for Sydney pulled out the next day, saying she could not “reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership”.

Simons’ book reveals that Plibersek stepped back from the contest to support her daughter Anna who had been in an abusive relationship and who would soon have to face being a witness in court against her abuser, who was eventually convicted of assault.

Albanese’s supporters have always insisted that after Shorten’s resignation as leader in 2019, Albanese had sewn up the support of the vast majority of his own Left faction, the half of the New South Wales Right faction loyal to senior MP Tony Burke, the “small states” Right faction led by South Australian powerbroker senator Don Farrell and the section of the Victorian Right loyal to Richard Marles.

Under Labor’s rules, when there is a contest for the leadership, the federal caucus gets a 50 per cent say and the party’s ordinary members also have a 50 per cent say, via a national ballot.

For Plibersek to have won, she would have needed a substantial majority of the members’ vote to offset Albanese’s numerical advantage in the caucus.

“If Anthony Albanese fell under a bus I suspect she would be a contender, but there is no sign of him falling under a bus.”

Author Margaret Simons

Plibersek was one of several senior Labor MPs eyeing the leadership after the 2019 defeat, aside from Albanese, including then-shadow finance spokesman Jim Chalmers, then-shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and then-shadow environment minister Burke, who rang Albanese on election night and said: “if you’re not running, I am.”

Like Plibersek, Chalmers and Bowen quickly withdrew while Burke did not put his own name forward.

However, allies of Albanese do concede that in the second half of 2020 and into early 2021, there were concerns over a possible challenge.

Morrison’s popularity had risen because of his early response to the pandemic, and with vaccines for COVID-19 soon to arrive, the then-opposition leader and his supporters were nervous.


On the leadership, Simons says: “Plibersek has never been the sort of person who actively destabilises leadership and nor do I think she is now.”

“If Anthony Albanese fell under a bus I suspect she would be a contender, but there is no sign of him falling under a bus.”

Simons said the idea for the book originated with her publisher, Black Ink Books – not Plibersek – and that once told the book would proceed with or without her cooperation, Plibersek opted to co-operate.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.