‘He knows the sharks will be circling for Shorten’: Bernardi talks Labor leadership rift after ‘Albo’s ambush’
The Coalition says Anthony Albanese has fired the starter gun on a Labor leadership contest, after the opposition frontbencher called for Labor to rethink its ideological blueprint.
Unveiling his ALP reform agenda in a speech at the Whitlam Oration on Friday, Albanese called for the party to better engage with the business sector and non-unionists. This was an obvious contradiction of Shorten’s “war with business” mantra, which has motivated much of his campaign against the top end of town.
Senator Cory Bernardi says the comments could easily kick-start an ongoing leadership rift.
“I would characterise what Albanese did as Albo’s ambush,” says Bernardi.
“He is preparing himself for a poor by-election result for the Labor Party in the seat of Longman, where it’s on a knife-edge in the polls, and in Braddon, where they look like they’re going to lose. He knows the sharks will be circling for Bill Shorten. I suspect this will start leadership rumblings.”
Bernardi suspects the possibility of an opposition leadership spill will prompt Turnbull to call an election before the end of the year.
“Though Albanese is a left-leaning person, he has a popular appeal. People think they can relate to him.”
“I think Turnbull will recognise that Bill Shorten is his greatest asset and will go to an election before the end of the year.”