Labor members to be given vote for new party leader


PEOPLE who were Labor members as of election day will be eligible to vote for the party's new leader after the national executive agreed to relax the eligibility criteria.

Under the original rules people needed to have been financial members of the party for two years to get a vote in the leadership ballot, which has been called after the resignation of Kevin Rudd.

But at a meeting of the national executive on Monday, the rules were changed meaning thousands of ALP members will now be eligible to cast a vote.

Acting Opposition Leader Chris Bowen also revealed the timeline for the leadership ballot.

Those Labor MPS wishing to stand for the leadership have until 5pm Friday to nominate for the ballot. So far only Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese have nominated.

Voting will open on Tuesday, September 24, and will remain open until Wednesday October 9.

The caucus will meet on October 10 where Labor MPs will cast their votes, with the members' votes to be counted after the meeting.

Labor's new leader will be announced on Sunday, October 13.

Under the new rules for electing a leader the result of the caucus and membership votes will be weighted evenly.

Mr Bowen told reporters on Monday the decision to throw open the vote to the party's rank and file and generated a "strong reaction".

He said the number of people inquiring about party membership had increased - a rarity after an election loss.

Topics:  labor party vote

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