CHRIS BOWEN MP, INTERIM LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
SUBJECTS: Labor Leadership Ballot.
TRANSCRIPT- DOORSTOP, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
10 OCTOBER 2013
CHRIS BOWEN: Well today is of course an important day in Labor’s process of selecting our alternative Prime Minister, the next Labor Prime Minister of Australia.
Today the Caucus voted to have its say just as party members across the country have been voting to have their say on who the alternative prime minister should be.
The Caucus today has to choose between two very good candidates just as the party has had to choose between two very good candidates, both well placed to lead Labor to the next election. It’s been a great process. Bill and Anthony have been around the country putting their case in good faith, in good spirit, in a spirit of mutual respect and in the spirit of the best interest of the Labor party.
And the response has been overwhelming. I’m told that as of today we have 27,000 votes from party members in and of course voting doesn’t close until 5 o’clock tomorrow so we could well expect more votes to come in.
Also across the country we’ve had 4000 applications to join the Labor Party since election day. 4000 people saying I want to be a part of the Labor Party, I want in. I want to be a part of this process going forward. Of course people joining the Labor Party since then, since the election don’t get a vote in this particular leadership election. But I think it’s an indication by Labor supporters across the country saying if the Labor Party’s prepared to be open and inclusive then I want to be a part of the process going forward. Following an election defeat for a Party to increase its membership by 4000 people is quite an achievement and it’s directly due to this process and to the good spirit that Bill and Anthony have engaged in the campaign.
Now of course the process from here is that again we’ll be back on Sunday and the votes will be counted, Caucus ballot will be counted at 2pm on Sunday and then the returning officer Chris Hayes, myself as Interim Leader and Jenny McAlister the National President will come and see you and announce the result.
Just before we do that an email will be sent to Labor supporters and members letting them know the results before it’s officially announced. If people want to be part of that process I’d encourage people to go to alp.org.au and register to receive that email to be amongst the first to hear who Labor’s new alternative Prime Minister and the next Labor Prime Minister of Australia is.