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Albo to fly into Darwin as Labor’s ‘legends’ battle for leadership

It will come as unwelcome news to federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who will fly into the Territory on Friday to campaign in Solomon and Lingiari. It’s understood The Left is backing Ms Fyles while Ms Manison is enjoying support of both The Right and unaligned caucus members. Sources say Ms Manison has eight votes within Parliamentary Labor while Ms Fyles has six. The party will meet on Friday to try to decide on a new leader but if the vote isn’t unanimous, party rules stipulate the leadership contest be taken to a vote of the rank and file. If either Ms Manison or Ms Fyles runs unopposed, no ballot is required.Late on Thursday, sources said both of Labor’s unaligned MLAs Dheran Young and Selena Uibo had declared themselves for Ms Manison. Meanwhile, The Left was rallying around Ms Fyles. A rumoured contest by Joel Bowden faded on Thursday.Late on Thursday night, Labor politicians including Ms Manison were spotted in the Legislative Assembly glued to their phones. The Left, which has been growing in influence within the party, does not hold the majority of MLAs but is hopeful a vote of rank and file members will deliver Ms Fyles the leadership. Sources told the NT News The Left had approached Mark Turner to return to the caucus but this claim was rejected by Mr Turner.Amid the leadership instability, Mr Albanese is expected to fly into Darwin on Friday afternoon. He is expected to campaign in areas covered by both Solomon and Lingiari.Amid growing uncertainty, the entire of Territory Labor’s executive sent government whip Mark Monaghan a letter instructing the parliamentary party that they must unanimously agree on a new leader by 2pm Friday or a ballot of the rank and file will be triggered. “If the (unanimous vote) does not occur, the Administrative Committee will meet to determine the framework to conduct a ballot within guidelines outlined in the branch constitution,” the letter said. On Thursday, banished Mr Turner declared his intention to return to the caucus.Mr Turner told Channel 9 he would be able to do more for his constituents if he were to re-enter.Mr Gunner sparked a race for the leadership after he dramatically resigned on Tuesday, during his budget speech.

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