Chris Bowen set to withdraw Labor leadership contention against Anthony Albanese

Mr Bowen was due to announce his decision to withdraw later on Wednesday.

Labor figures from both the left and right factions who rushed to declare their support for Mr Albanese on Wednesday included Senator Wong, health spokeswoman Catherine King, Andrew Giles, Pat Conroy, Tony Burke, Senator Keneally and Terri Butler.

Senator Wong praised Mr Albanese as “the outstanding parliamentarian of our generation”.

On Tuesday, Mr Bowen declared he was the best person to lead the economic agenda for a shattered Labor Party, despite his close connection as treasury spokesman to the economic policies that had just been rejected by the electorate at Saturday’s election.

He said the party was “obviously not communicating with that part of society who would be natural Labor supporters”, given they had not embraced the party’s redistributive agenda.

Mr Albanese and Mr Bowen have both acknowledged a need to examine the party’s policy offering following the shock defeat, and have spoken about reconnecting with regional and outer-suburban voters, who abandoned Labor in droves.

An uncontested appointment would allow Mr Albanese to immediately begin the process of reviewing Labor’s campaign, which has also been widely criticised from within.

Common gripes included over-complicated and erratic messaging, failure to execute strong local campaigns in key seats and high levels of secrecy over polling data and other research.

More to come


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