Anthony Albanese is set to become the new Labor leader, as he urged party members not to despair about the surprise federal election loss on Saturday.
Queensland MP Jim Chalmers pulled out of the contest to replace Bill Shorten, leaving Mr Albanese a free run at the top job.
"I want to work with Jim Chalmers and I see him as having a key role in the opposition, if I am, indeed, successful in becoming leader of the Australian Labor Party," Mr Albanese said in Sydney on Thursday.
Mr Albanese said the magnitude of Labor's defeat meant just one in three Australians voted for the party first on their ballot papers.
"But I don't think it should be a cause for despair. I think it should be a cause for determination," he said.
"We must work with the people of Australia wherever and whoever they are, to build a blueprint for a better country."
Nominations for the role close on Monday, with Mr Chalmers and shadow treasurer Chris Bowen both deciding against running.
Mr Chalmers said he carefully considered running on a platform of generational change.
"But in the end I couldn't be assured of winning," he said in a statement.
"And if I did win, the extra responsibilities of leadership would make it much harder to do my bit at home while the youngest of our three little kids is only five months old."
Victorian Labor right-faction MPs Richard Marles and Clare O'Neil are both considering standing for deputy leader.
"Many Labor people - particularly Labor women - have contacted me in recent days encouraging me to run for Labor deputy leader to ensure there is a woman in the leader/deputy team," Ms O'Neil tweeted.
"I'm going to talk to a few colleagues about whether it's possible for me at this point."
Labor has aimed to have a man and a woman in the leadership duo, from different states and factions.
But with Mr Albanese coming from the left faction, the right outside NSW is paying the price for a lack of high profile women in the lower house.
Mr Albanese said he had not made promises about ministry positions to other Labor MPs to win their support.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen pulled out of the race on Wednesday, a day after declaring his candidacy, having realised Mr Albanese had strong grassroots support.
If there are no further nominations for leader the Labor caucus is expected to meet as early as Wednesday to confirm the leadership team, including deputy leader and senior Senate personnel.
Australian Associated Press