Chris Bowen is reportedly going to withdraw from the Labor leadership race.
Labor MPs expect him to drop his bid and leave Antony Albanese unopposed, according to The Australian.
This is because he apparently lacks the support of enough MPs and does not have the backing of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
Bowen out: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen MP addresses the media outside his childhood home in Smithfield, Sydney to announce he is running to be Labor leader
His withdrawal would pave the way for former deputy prime minister Mr Albanese to take charge.
Mr Bowen has called a press conference for 3.45pm.
Mr Albanese and Mr Bowen are the only declared contenders to replace Mr Shorten, but it’s not too late for others to put up their hand.
‘I think the party does deserve a contest,’ Mr Bowen told reporters on Tuesday outside the house where he grew up in Smithfield in Sydney’s west.
Mr Bowen was the architect of Labor’s plans to change the franking credits regime and crack down on negative gearing.
The Coalition branded these ‘new taxes’ that would hurt retirees and mum-and-dad property investors, and the policies were key factors in Labor losing the May 18 election.
Mr Bowen signalled he would start with a blank policy slate if he becomes leader.
‘No political party ever takes to the next election exactly the same policies they took to the last. That would be dumb,’ he said.
Mr Albanese has been campaigning for the leadership since confirming he’d make a second tilt at the top job on Sunday.
His last attempt in 2013 ended in a loss to Bill Shorten, who resigned from the leadership after Saturday’s election loss.
Labour Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development Anthony Albanese speaks to the media to announce his bid for leadership
‘We got the votes of one in three of every Australian on Saturday. We need to do much better,’ Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney.
It is understood Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers is being encouraged to run, but his thinking has been impacted by factional colleague Mr Bowen’s announcement.
Mr Bowen received a mix of positive and negative comments on his Facebook page on Tuesday, with many linking him with Labor’s loss and calling for ‘generational change’ in the party.
Ms Plibersek, also from the left faction, ruled herself out on Monday, saying it was not her time.
The leadership will be decided by a vote of grassroots members and the federal parliamentary caucus, with each group given 50 per cent weight.
Caucus will not be told the result of the grassroots vote before MPs make their decision.
From being raised by a single mum in a housing commission flat to a marriage split: What you DIDN’T know about Anthony Albanese – as he seeks Labor leadership and the nation’s heart
By Daniel Piotrowski and Stephen Johnson
Anthony Albanese, the man tipped to be the next Labor leader, is a new bachelor who was raised in a housing commission flat and has tasted power as a senior minister.
‘Albo’, 56, is tonight firming as the frontrunner to become Opposition Leader, following Bill Shorten’s shock election thumping on Saturday.
Anthony Albanese, the man tipped to be the next Labor leader, split from his wife Carmel Tebutt, the former NSW deputy premier, in January
Mr Albanese’s rival Tanya Plibersek said ‘now is not the time’ to run for the party’s leadership, citing family responsibilities. She has three children, including an eight-year-old son.
The MP for Sydney’s inner west seat of Grayndler for more than 20 years, Mr Albanese has long coveted the Labor leadership.
Mr Shorten pipped Mr Albanese to the job in 2013. But the ALP’s catastrophic defeat on Saturday has given him a second chance at the top.
Mr Albanese’s leadership tilt, announced at the weekend, is a new chapter in what has already been a tumultuous year for the Labor frontbencher.
In January, the former Cabinet minister issued a statement announced he and his wife of 30 years, the ex-NSW deputy premier Carmel Tebutt, had separated.
Mr Albanese said he was ‘deeply saddened’ and the pair would continue to share parenting responsibilities for their adult son, Nathan, 18. ‘There were no third parties involved,’ the statement said.
The relationship breakdown has barely come up since, with Mr Albanese dedicating himself to campaigning for Labor as its transport spokesman. He promoted a high speed rail plan during the election, only to watch the party’s dream of a new progressive government die at the weekend.
On Sunday Mr Albanese suggested he could revive the party’s fortunes, announcing his bid to be Opposition leader at a Balmain pub. ‘I know what it’s like to do it tough,’ he said.
Mr Albanese reflected on his compelling backstory, telling how he was raised in public housing in 1960s inner Sydney by a single mother, Maryanne, who was on an invalid pension.
‘What you see if what you get with me,’ he said.
‘I’m a bit rough at the edges, but I think that Australians don’t want someone who just utters talking points.’
Life of Albo: Raised by a single mother with a father who ‘died in a crash’ – but was actually alive
A young Mr Albanese was raised in Camperdown. The Sydney suburb was a considerably more downtrodden area in the 1960s than its trendy present.
As a teenager, he worked as a paperboy and went to school in the city.
Even then, he was known as Albo, people who knew him then said.
His mother always told Mr Albanese she had met his Italian father overseas, but she had returned to Australia and he had died in a car crash.
When he was a teenager, she revealed the story was not actually true.
A young Anthony Albanese met Carmel Tebutt in the Labor party
‘We sat down just after dinner one night and she — it was very traumatic for her, I think, to tell me that in fact that wasn’t the case,’ Mr Albanese told the ABC in 2009.
Maryanne told him ‘my father might still be alive, that she’d met him overseas, fallen pregnant with me, had told him and he had said, basically, that he was betrothed to someone from the town in Italy where he was from.’
Mr Albanese said he did not follow up on the story until after his mother’s died in 2002.
He knew his father, Carlo, had worked on a cruise ship and enlisted the help of a maritime historian to track him down. Incredibly, the effort was successful.
The pair met, embraced and spoke for an hour-and-a-half, the Labor luminary later told the ABC.
‘It’s hard to put into words… how I felt. It was just completely overwhelming,’ Mr Albanese said. His father died in 2014, and told his long lost son he was happy they had found each other.
Life in the Labor Party: Meeting Carmel, becoming a minister and backing Rudd over Gillard
Mr Albanese joined the Australian Labor Party at age 16 – and rose to become an influential figure in the party’s Left faction.
It was through Labor he met Ms Tebutt, who he described in his maiden speech as his ‘partner and best friend’.
Mr Albanese first became the federal member of Grayndler in 1996 – a seat he has held ever since.
He spent more than a decade in Opposition and did not come into government until the election of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2007.
‘Hot Albo’: A photograph of a young Anthony Albanese went viral during the last Labor government
He was appointed transport and infrastructure minister and Leader of the House in the new government.
He was known to be a supporter of Mr Rudd during his leadership tussles with Julia Gillard.
When Mr Rudd ascended returned to the top job, he rewarded Mr Albanese with the role of deputy prime minister – a job he held for just three months.
Mr Albanese made a tilt for the top job in 2013.
He won the popular vote of the party membership but lost the Caucus vote.
In the six years since there have been occasional reports he was considering challenging Mr Shorten for the leadership.
It never eventuated, but there remains some bad blood within the party.
A fuming Labor insider – who supported Ms Plibersek – said: ‘Albo has just been sitting there hoping Bill gets run over a bus the whole way through.
‘All he’s ever done is back stab, undermine and s*** stir. Albo can get stuffed.’
Mr Albanese declined to comment on the claims, but told reporters separately he had no criticism of Mr Shorten as Labor leader.
Meanwhile, Labor is organising a leadership election, which involves a vote from the party membership and the elected Caucus.
Mr Albanese, the Labor party and Australia, await what’s next.