Catch up on our coverage of the 2019 federal election here.
Labor's messages about the "good stuff" failed to reach struggling workers, the party's member for Bendigo says.
A lot of soul searching was needed as the party grapples with the election defeat, Lisa Chesters said.
"We need to understand why people didn't know or didn't like Labor's plan," she said.
"There's something in common with the seats we lost and those we failed to pick up ground.
These are places experiencing mortgage stress, where there's a lot of anxiety about insecure work and where they are really living day-to-day and week-to-week."
It was a bitter-sweet moment for Ms Chesters, who romped to her third win in the seat of Bendigo with an increased margin.
She felt like people the electorate got behind Labor's policies on child care, schools and hospitals.
They also believed in Labor's plan for climate change in a nation she said was "divided" by the issue.
"We have to do work to reach out into those communities where they just don't agree with Castlemaine and Woodend (voters' perspectives)," Ms Chesters said.
She did not believe the result was a reflection of voter concerns about tax changes.
The Labor party did not have the "clean air" to capture working people and younger voters' attention in key seats, Ms Chesters said.
"We didn't really experience it in Bendigo because the Liberal party kind of gave up on us," she said.
"That gave us in the Labor team the ability to run a really positive message.
"My understanding of what has happened in other states, particularly in Queensland and Tasmania, was that there was a really negative and nasty campaign."
Ms Chesters believed Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer's social media messages about a possible Labor death tax also cut through up north - one Ms Chesters said was a false claim.
She ruled out putting her hand up for the leadership in the wake of Bill Shorten's exit.
"I just want to pay tribute to Bill. I supported Bill in the leadership challenge after 2013. He really ... inspired us to be bold, and to put forward a bold agenda," Ms Chesters said.
"We just did not have enough time to talk to people in enough detail about what that would mean for them and their family."
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