Bill Shorten
Bill Shorten Michael Jones

Shorten remains tight-lipped about Labor caucus results

UPDATE: The Labor Party caucus voted on their new leader on Thursday, with the wait now on for party members' votes to be counted before a victor is confirmed.

While Bill Shorten was expected to win majority support from the caucus, his opponent Anthony Albanese was expected to pick up a majority of the rank and file.

However, interim leader Chris Bowen said on Thursday he did not believe the caucus all voted along factional lines.

"I know of some New South Wales left MPs who voted for Mr Shorten, and some Victorian right figures who voted for Mr Albanese," he said.

Mr Bowen said the caucus would now have to wait until the 27,000-odd party members' ballots were counted, with final news of a victor expected Sunday.

He said the caucus would again meet in Canberra on Monday to decide on a new deputy and various other leadership roles, including a full frontbench announcement expected.

Of the new primary-like process, Mr Bowen said it had already resulted in the Labor Party gaining some 4000-odd new members.

He described the boom in party membership as "quite an achievement" following the election loss, attributing the growth to the party reforms instigated by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

But as speculation of division over the caucus versus rank and file vote circled, Mr Bowen said he believed there was "no danger" of internal ructions from the new process.


EARLIER: The likely victor of Labor's caucus ballot on Thursday, Bill Shorten, has held his tongue until the final rank and file ballot count is completed on Sunday.

Mr Shorten spoke to reporters in Canberra after the caucus ballot, which included absentee votes from Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd.

The Victorian right faction leader was widely tipped to out-perform his opponent, New South Wales left figure Anthony Albanese, in the caucus vote, while Mr Albanese is expected to win the member's vote.

Mr Shorten did not rule out serving as Mr Albanese's deputy should he lose the ballot.

But he said he remained determined to serve the Labor cause "in whatever capacity required", including potentially from the backbench.

The former Workplace Relations Minister also would not say whether MPs were told to vote in alliance with internal factions.

"I'm expecting that all MPs would have voted for what's in the party and the nation's best interests," he said.

Mr Shorten said it was too early to judge the outcomes of the caucus ballot, despite the former union head tipped to be the victor.

The final outcome of the ballot will be decided by the majority of both the caucus and rank and file ballots.

About 60% of party members have already returned their ballot papers to head office, with a new leader expected to be announced this Sunday.