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Albanese unopposed for Labor leadership

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Anthony Albanese is set to become the new Labor leader, with Jim Chalmers pulling out of the race.

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Chalmers, the shadow finance minister, said he carefully considered running on a platform of generational change.

“But in the end I couldn’t be assured of winning,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“And if I did win, the extra responsibilities of leadership would make it much harder to do my bit at home, while the youngest of our three little kids is only five months old.”

Chalmers said he wanted to play a substantial role in “rebuilding, renewing and refreshing” the party after Saturday’s “stinging” federal election defeat.

“As a Queenslander, I want the best state in Australia to have a more prominent voice in the alternative government.”

He spoke to Albanese on Thursday morning.

“I will enthusiastically support him and work tirelessly with our team to give Australians the Labor government they need and deserve at the next opportunity,” Chalmers said.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen pulled out of the race on Wednesday, a day after declaring his candidacy, having realised Albanese had strong grassroots support.

Bowen’s withdrawal opened the door for Chalmers, a Queenslander who’s also from the party’s right, to take on the frontrunner from Labor’s left.

Nominations for Labor leadership will close on Monday, but Chalmers’ withdrawal makes the prospect of a contested ballot highly unlikely.

If there are no further nominations the Labor caucus is expected to meet next week to confirm the leadership team, including deputy leader and senior Senate personnel.

-AAP

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