Bill Shorten elected ALP leader

HE WASN'T the public favourite but the support of his colleagues and a healthy push from the party faithful landed Bill Shorten the Labor Party's top job.

The new Labor leader was announced following a caucus meeting at Parliament House, where the results of the vote were revealed.

Mr Albanese received more votes from the rank and file members but the support of Caucus and 40% of the membership vote pushed Mr Shorten ahead of the former Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking to reporters in Canberra on Sunday, Mr Shorten said it was "a great honour" to be elected leader of Australia's oldest political party.

Acknowledging the former Labor Government's failures, Mr Shorten said "mistakes were made" but that achievements such as building the National Broadband Network, pricing carbon, introducing education reforms and boasting "relatively low unemployment" figures, still held true.

He said he hoped that by listening to his colleagues and "not talking at them", he would help the party present "good policies that win back the trust of the Australian people" by the next Federal Election.

Shrugging off criticism about his lack of experience compared to Mr Albanese - six years in federal politics and three as a minister - Mr Shorten spoke of leading the fight against the Howard Government's Work Choices reforms and said being in opposition did not always mean being a member of parliament.

More than 4500 people have signed up as new members of the Labor Party since last month's landslide defeat to the Coalition.

In an email sent to members immediately after the meeting, interim leader and former Treasurer Chris Bowen, said the historic vote had "changed our great party forever and is already making us stronger".

The final Caucus vote was won 55-31.

Mr Albanese received 18,230 member votes and Mr Shorten, 12,196.

A further caucus meeting is scheduled for Monday in Canberra to determine the new deputy opposition leader - tipped to be Tanya Plibersek - and other front bench roles.