ALP factional brawling to intensify after 4500 members receive voting rights

Factional war inside Victoria's Labor Party is set to intensify after the party's powerful national executive restored voting rights for thousands of members.

The decision means more than 4500 party members will regain a vote in future preselections of candidates.

The national executive committee reached the decision on Friday morning, handing back full voting power to thousands of members who had had it stripped from them earlier this year by the Victorian ALP branch.

The move could give them a decisive say in determining who stands for state and federal seats. But it comes too late for preselections for the 2018 state election.

It will, however, give the members a vote on the preselection round for the next federal election.

The latest development comes against a backdrop of infighting for supremacy within Labor's Right faction, which has pitted long-time factional powerbroker Stephen Conroy against Victorian upper house MP Adem Somyurek???.

Their battle is over control of three ultra-safe Labor western suburbs electorates - Footscray, Williamstown and Tarneit.

Mr Conroy, who was communications minister under the Rudd-Gillard federal governments, tendered his resignation from Parliament last year.

Mr Somyurek was once trade and innovation minister in the Andrews government until he was dumped amid allegations he bullied a staff member, a charge he vehemently denied.

His sub-faction is expected to seize control of three prized seats.

The 4500 members whose voting rights have been restored belong to the central branch and are not allocated to local branches.

They originally held full voting rights until earlier this year when the Victorian ALP branch stripped them of the ability to cast ballots in preselection contests due to concerns about branch stacking.

Granting full voting rights for central branch members could radically alter the internal voter make-up for future preselections and would likely disadvantage Mr Somyurek's sub-faction.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is understood to be in favour of giving the central branch members a greater say in internal party matters.

Some of Labor's most senior members, including Mr Shorten and Anthony Albanese, are members of the national executive committee. Mr Conroy and Left factional leader Kim Carr are also members.

The national executive's decision comes after a failed legal challenge to stop Victorian preselection votes from proceeding last month until the controversy over the central branch members' votes could be resolved.

The challenge, by young Labor member and former Conroy staffer Bassel Tallal, was thrown out last month.

Meanwhile, exiled former emergency services minister Jane Garrett is expected to learn on Monday if her attempted move from the marginal seat of Brunswick to the relative safety of the Victorian upper house has succeeded.

About 1700 Labor members have voted on a replacement for retiring Western Metropolitan MP Khalil Eideh, whose electoral office is being investigated by corruption watchdog IBAC over alleged printing rorts.

Mr Eideh will step down at the 2018 election.

Ms Garrett is fighting Australian Services Union secretary Ingrid Stitt for preselection for his spot.

Her cause has been aided by an unofficial alliance with Mr Somyurek.

A party member linked with Mr Somyurek's faction hand-delivered about 600 votes to Labor's party headquarters in Docklands on Thursday, the day before Friday's voting deadline.

Labor sources confirmed the large delivery and said preselection votes are often delivered by hand to avoid potential delays with Australia Post.

This story ALP factional brawling to intensify after 4500 members receive voting rights first appeared on The Age.