Labor sets out to learn from painful loss

Bill Shorten is confident the Labor Party will learn from the weekend's shock election defeat.
Bill Shorten is confident the Labor Party will learn from the weekend's shock election defeat.

Bill Shorten is confident the Labor Party will learn from a second failed bid to form a federal government with him as the nation's prime minister.

"There's lots of lessons for Labor to learn from yesterday's result and I know that my party will," he told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

Labor national president Wayne Swan says the party will be taking a close look at its policies and campaign strategies after the drubbing on Saturday.

"The result is deeply disappointing and our party has a responsibility to analyse the result and to respond maturely," he said in a statement.

"The party has got to dust itself off, rethink and reorganise."

Mr Shorten will be interim Labor leader while a ballot is conducted of the federal caucus and grassroots members to find his replacement.

Former leadership rival Anthony Albanese confirmed on Sunday he will be throwing his hat into the ring.

"I believe I am the best person to lead Labor back into government," he told reporters in Sydney.

The contender was not willing to be drawn on why he thought Labor failed to gain ground, pointing to the official reviews to come.

Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek, who will announce on Monday she is running for the Labor leadership, believes the party would have performed better if it had ensured all Australians knew how their policies would benefit them.

"Our policy agenda - it was big, it was bold," she told ABC's Insiders.

"But I think perhaps we didn't have enough time to explain all of the benefits of it to the people who would benefit."

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, who hails from Mr Shorten's Right faction, is weighing up whether to contest the leadership.

Mr Shorten, who will attend an ALP national executive meeting on Monday, said he would spend some "overdue time" with his family.

Ms Plibersek argued if every pensioner and seniors health care card-holder knew about Labor's pensioner dental plan, they would have voted for it.

Families would also have rallied behind Labor's plan for free or cheaper childcare if they knew about it, she argued, applying a similar sentiment to people who were in line to get their penalty rates restored.

But Ms Plibersek doesn't think Labor went too big, nor too bold.

"We had the option of having a whole campaign based on the chaos and disunity of the last six years... we could have just focused on that, but I think that's letting Australia down."

Issues such as climate change, flatlining wage growth, unemployment and underemployment must be dealt with, she stressed.

Labor had faced a "cashed-up scare campaign" from the United Australia Party, bankrolled to the tune of $80 million by businessman Clive Palmer, she said.

Australian Associated Press