Giddings keen to stay as leader

OUTGOING premier Lara Giddings says she is prepared to stay on to ``take the fight up to Will Hodgman'', with Labor's leadership to remain unresolved until the end of next week. 

Despite leading her party to a crushing defeat on Saturday, Ms Giddings was returned with her strongest personal vote ever, while her leadership rival David O'Byrne has almost certainly lost his seat.  

Ms Giddings, yesterday said it would be up to her Labor colleagues to decide ``if they felt that I was the right person to help consolidate the party and to take the fight up to Will Hodgman in Parliament''.

``There are many options on the table, I'm not closing any of those doors.''

In a pitch for the job, Ms Giddings twice referred to former Labor premier Michael Field, who lost the 1992 election but stayed on as leader. 

She also pointed out she was one of few in the Labor team to have experience serving in an opposition.   

Among the options facing Labor, as it attempts to rebuild, is for Ms Giddings to serve as leader in the short term before standing aside and possibly even quitting Parliament to allow Mr O'Byrne to return in time to take Labor to the next election. 

Labor's Brenton Best, who is unlikely to hold his seat in Braddon, called for a spill of the leader and deputy leader positions. 

``I think it's a time for renewal,'' he said. 

Ms Giddings reaffirmed her commitment to giving ALP members and unions a say in who is elected party leader, rather than just elected Labor MPs, but it's unclear whether there will be another contender. 

Another possible future leader Rebecca White ruled out putting her hand up for the task yesterday and Scott Bacon is believed to not want the job yet.  

Mr O'Byrne acknowledged Ms Giddings had been endorsed by Franklin voters and said she had earnt the right to make the call. He said there would be no pressure from him or his backers on her to go. 

``I'm expecting no favours.''

Lara Giddings

Lara Giddings


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