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Labor leadership conundrum

Obyrne White

Rebecca White wants to stay on as Labor Leader, after her second election loss in a row and the party's third on the trot.

In her first media comments since the party suffered a swing against it on Saturday, including a collapse in support from left-leaning Clark, Ms White told the ABC "the fire still burns" and she has "unfinished business".

"I'd like to remain as leader of the party but the last thing the Labor Party needs is a fight," she said on Thursday.

Labor is waiting for the final votes to be counted before launching all-encompassing review of what went wrong. 

Senior Liberal Minister Michael Ferguson took the opportunity to weigh in.

"It is time for the ambitious David O’Byrne to finally put up or shut up, and pull the plug on Rebecca White’s failed Labor leadership," he said. 

"Before and during the election campaign there was talk of a Federal Labor intervention to sort out the factional infighting, and Ms White confirmed that while an external review was forthcoming on the back of the historic election loss, she would still put her name forward for the leadership." 

Independent Federal Senator Jacqui Lambie has told Tasmania Talks she'd be surprised if Ms White stays on.

"You don't usually see a Leader of the Opposition still sitting, about to lead them in there for a third go. It's just not practical. It doesn't work that way. In fact, usually if they're beaten once they won't leave them there either. So she's had two shots. I think Labor needs to go back to the drawing board and look at where they're going in the future."