Federal election 2022: Anthony Albanese – what do you really know about him?

With the next federal election set to be called for the first half of 2022, Yahoo News Australia has answered the most common questions people are asking about Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.

How old is Anthony Albanese?

Mr Albanese, nicknamed Albo, was born in Sydney on March 2, 1963, making him 58 years old.

He is the son of Carlo Albanese and Maryanne Ellery.

His mother was an Australian of Irish descent, while his father was from Barletta, Italy.

The Opposition Leader is proud of growing up in Sydney's Inner West. He established his working class values living in public housing in Camperdown, raised by his single mum. He went to the local St Joseph's Primary School and then to St Mary's Cathedral College.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese addresses media.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is gearing up for a Federal Election predicted for early 2022. Source: Getty Images

Who was Anthony Albanese's wife?

In 2000, Mr Albanese married Carmel Tebbutt, who was Member for Marrickville from 2005-2015 where she served as NSW Deputy Premier from 2008-2011, the first woman to do so.

After retiring from politics in 2015 she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand.

In February 2018 Tebbutt started as CEO of the Mental Health Coordinating Council.

The couple split in early 2019 after 19 years of marriage and 30 years together.

Does Anthony Albanese have children?

Mr Albanese and Ms Tebbutt have a son, named Nathan.

Anthony Albanese and wife Carmel Tebbutt divorced in 2019 after 30 years together. Source: AAP
Anthony Albanese and wife Carmel Tebbutt divorced in 2019 after 30 years together. Source: AAP

Does Anthony Albanese have a new partner?

In June 2020, it was reported Mr Albanese was in a new relationship, with Jodie Haydon, a Strategic Partnerships Manager in the financial sector.

Ms Haydon grew up on the NSW Central Coast and has never been married or had children.

The new couple first met when Mr Albanese was addressing a Melbourne conference in late 2019 when he asked whether there were any NRL South Sydney Rabbitohs supporters in the room and Ms Haydon responded.

Jodie Haydon and Anthony Albanese smiling at the premiere of Hamilton at Lyric Theatre, Star City
Anthony Albanese has a new partner Jodie Haydon after splitting with wife Carmel Tebbutt in 2019. Source: Getty Images.

When did Anthony Albanese become involved in politics?

Mr Albanese won preselection for the seat of Grayndler when sitting member Jeannette McHugh announced she would not re-contest the seat at the 1996 election.

Despite suffering a six-point swing against Labor, Mr Albanese was elected with a comfortable 16-point margin.

What is Anthony Albanese's family background?

Mr Albanese’s parents met on a cruise ship, but afterwards went their separate ways.

Growing up, Mr Albanese was told that his father had died in a car accident, until his mother revealed that his father was, in fact, alive.

“We sat down just after dinner one night and she — it was very traumatic for her, I think, to tell me that in fact that wasn’t the case, that my father might still be alive, that she’d met him overseas, fallen pregnant with me, had told him and he had said, basically, that he was betrothed to someone from the town in Italy where he was from,” he told ABC 730.

“I think that whole guilt associated with having a child out of wedlock in 1963 as a young Catholic woman was a big deal and, hence, the extent to which she had gone to in terms of adopting my father’s name, she wore an engagement and a wedding ring, she — the whole family just believed this story,” he said.

With the assistance of the Australian Embassy in Italy, Mr Albanese tracked down his father in 2009, subsequently discovering he had two half-siblings.

What is Anthony Albanese's religion?

Mr Albanese was quoted as saying that his mother had raised him with "three great faiths: the Catholic Church, the South Sydney Football Club and Labor", adding that he had always remained faithful to the latter two.

How did Anthony Albanese become the Labor leader?

In 1998, Mr Albanese was appointed a parliamentary secretary.

He had a slew of positions in the shadow cabinet from 2001, and following Labor’s 2007 federal election win under Kevin Rudd, he was appointed Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Regional Development and Local Government and Leader of the House of Representatives.

With Julia Gillard’s ascension to Prime Minister in June 2013, Albanese was elected Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.

Following Labor’s defeat at the 2013 federal election, Albanese stood for Leader of the Labor Party but was defeated by Bill Shorten.

Mr Shorten later resigned as leader after Labor lost the 2019 federal election and Albanese took the leadership unopposed.

What is Anthony Albanese's relationship with Bill Shorten?

Mr Albanese and Mr Shorten have long been rivals within the Labor ranks, being staunch members of left and right wing factions of the party respectively.

After Labor lost the 2019 federal election, one they were strongly tipped to win, Mr Shorten resigned as leader.

However, instead of staying out of the leadership squabble as most former leaders do, Mr Shorten reportedly worked against Mr Albanese becoming leader by trying to convince his colleagues to support his deputy leader Tanya Plibersek rather than Mr Albanese.

There have been many whispers in the halls of Federal Parliament in the lead-up to the next election that Mr Shorten wants his old job back.

What are Anthony Albanese's chances of winning the next election?

The latest news polls show Labor continuing to lead the Coalition 53-47 on a two-party basis.

However, Mr Albanese trails Scott Morrison as preferred Prime Minister at 38 per cent compared to Morrison’s 46 per cent approval rating.

Mr Albanese’s Labor has also been very coy with detailed policies, even with an election looming in May 2022.

Who are the other potential leaders of the Labor party?

As Mr Albanese was elected Labor leader unopposed, his leadership of the party has looked rather stable compared to recent party leaders.

Cracks in Mr Albanese’s hold on the top job began to appear when former agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon resigned from the front bench in November 2020, citing concerns on climate policy and saying that the “labour” needed to be put back into Labor.

Former deputy leader under Shorten, Ms Plibersek, has also popped up as a contender, with many citing her as a future party leader.

Rumours also continue to swirl that Mr Shorten still harbours ambitions to be prime minister, although he has publicly denied this.

The instability of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government is also fresh in the minds of many and it remains to be seen whether Labor will stick with "Albo" as leader in the face of a potential third consecutive election defeat.

What is Anthony Albanese's stance on climate change?

Mr Albanese’s Labor has pledged a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050, the same as the Morrison Government announced recently.

Labor has so far refused to release details of other climate and environmental policies, yet when Mr Albanese was a Minister in the Gillard Government he supported the introduction of the carbon pricing scheme.

Mr Albanese has long been an advocate of renewable energy, declaring the long-term future of Australia’s energy needs would come from renewable sources.

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