14 Sep 2013

Rudd says Labor can win next election

8:11 am on 14 September 2013

Outgoing prime minister Kevin Rudd thinks Labor can win back power at the next election in Australia.

The former leader told the ALP caucus in Canberra on Friday that in 2007 the party began with 57 seats and defeated John Howard with a swing of 5.4%.

In 2013 they have 55 seats but a larger number of coalition seats have fallen within 3% - 4%, he said.

"This next election is therefore entirely winnable for whoever you elect as your next leader," he said.

"For the campaign that has been fought, I have given it my all but this was not enough and I of course accept full responsibility for the outcome. The buck stops with me."

AAP reports two candidates are seeking to succeed Mr Rudd: former deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese and former education minister Bill Shorten addressed the caucus on Friday. Nominations are still open.

As the process could take a month, AAP reports outgoing treasurer Chris Bowen will be interim leader of the party.

"Labor is drawing a line underneath the rancour of previous years," Mr Shorten, 46, said in Canberra on Friday. "We will not seek to publicly disparage each other in our efforts."

AAP reports Mr Albanese, 50, believes his parliamentary longevity gives him an edge.

"I come here as someone (with) 17 years in public office," he said.

Mr Shorten is a former national secretary of the Australian Workers Union.

"This ballot in the Labor party will not be the contest of personalities, it will be the contest of ideas,'' he said.