About 70 Labor Party supporters will each pay $1000 a plate to attend a dinner on Wednesday to help pay for the ALP’s month-long leadership campaign between Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese.
Meanwhile, Mr Shorten, Mr Albanese and hundreds of volunteers will spend the next two days in a frantic telephone marathon to win last-minute support from ALP grassroots members.
In what is considered still a tight contest, Mr Shorten appears certain to emerge in a leadership role by next week.
Even if he were to lose the outright leadership ballot to Mr Albanese, Mr Shorten is expected to be chosen by the Labor caucus as Mr Albanese’s deputy.
If Mr Shorten wins, however, Mr Albanese will be overlooked by caucus in favour of Sydney’s Tanya Plibersek for deputy, according to party sources.
Labor members across Australia have until Friday to submit their votes, but both campaign teams are warning members they will need to have posted their votes by Wednesday.
The party’s national returning officer, Melbourne barrister Mr Tony Lang, will count the broader membership vote at ALP national headquarters in Canberra on Friday and Saturday.
The parliamentary caucus members will gather in Canberra on Friday to cast their votes, which will then be sealed, uncounted, by the caucus returning officer, Chris Hayes, the Member for Fowler in Sydney.
Caucus will be reconvened on Sunday where the parliamentary vote will be counted in the presence of MPs. The total national vote and the caucus vote will then be revealed – each worth 50 per cent – and the result, the first of its kind in the ALP’s history, will be declared.
Once the new leader is decided, the caucus will choose the deputy.
Mr Shorten will spend most of Tuesday and Wednesday in Melbourne trying to round up last-minute votes by telephone, and Mr Albanese will be in Sydney doing the same.
Mr Shorten’s team is claiming strong support in Victoria and NSW and relatively strong support in South Australia. Mr Albanese is receiving majority support in Queensland and Tasmania. Western Australia is about even.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.