Labor MPs and grassroots members had been hoping for an election win, but after Scott Morrison's return are now seeking new hope from Anthony Albanese.
Anthony Albanese has a long road ahead of him.
Scott Morrison led his coalition team to a historic win on May 18 - the first time a minority government has clawed back into majority since World War II.
There is a buoyant mood within the Liberal and National parties, underlined by the fact Labor was only able to secure 33.4 per cent of the primary vote across the country.
That is, two-thirds of Australian voters opted for non-Labor parties.
What's more, the Right faction of the ALP denied Albanese, who hails from Labor's Left, the opportunity of an invigorating stoush over the leadership by not putting up a candidate.
In 2013, when he faced off against Bill Shorten, there was strong satisfaction among Labor grassroots members with finally getting a chance to have a say on the federal parliamentary leadership.
The leadership ballot process was hailed by Albanese himself, even though he lost the caucus proportion of the vote, as having left the party "stronger and more united than we've ever been before".
"If I can be forgiven for quoting another Italian, Michael Corleone, in Godfather III, 'Real power cannot be given, it must be taken.' It was taken off the factional bosses and given to the rank and file and the rank and file have responded," he said at the time.
Six years later Albanese has won the leadership without a contest.
He has had to wrangle the Left and Right wings of his party to come up with a shadow cabinet.
One of Labor's shining lights, NSW MP Ed Husic, graciously stood aside to allow Right faction colleague Kristina Keneally step into the shadow ministry.
And one of the party's sharpest minds, factionally unaligned Canberra-based MP Andrew Leigh, will be relegated to the backbench.
However, Albanese scored a win in convincing the party to allow him to appoint two women, Penny Wong and Kristina Keneally, to the two most senior roles in the Senate.
"On the big calls that really matter, which is the leadership group in the Labor Party, I have made it clear what my position is - the caucus has respected that and we have achieved, I think, a very good outcome," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
Veteran Labor strategist Bruce Hawker says he's confident Albanese would have won both the majority of votes in caucus and the grassroots of the party had there been a ballot.
Hawker says it would have been good to have a ballot because it motivates members and encourages people to join the party.
"I'd hope these sorts of arrangements (with one candidate) become the exception rather than the rule," he told AAP.
Looking ahead, Hawker says Albanese - a 23-year parliamentary veteran - has the ability to motivate the Labor rank and file.
"He's been much more connected to the grassroots Labor organisation and not so heavily connected to the union as others like Bill Shorten have been.
"It doesn't mean he doesn't have support in the union movement but he's not so heavily reliant on it."
Hawker says Albanese's first task must be to undertake a "listening tour" of the nation, especially to areas where Labor's vote sank such as Tasmania and Queensland.
As for policy, the party needed to take a more "bespoke" approach, taking into account changes in society and the workplace such as blue-collar workers becoming self-employed tradies, the rise of part-time and casual work, and the challenges faced by two-income families.
Economic policy should look at growing the economy, not just redistributing wealth.
Climate should be seen as not a question of jobs versus protecting the planet, but rather how Australia can be part of a "sensible transition" from fossil fuels to renewables.
Labor's wavering on the Adani coal project and confusing signals over resource sector jobs hit the party hard, especially in central and northern Queensland.
Hawker says a clearer position on the connection between climate, energy and jobs will be vital.
"It's not about destroying jobs in the coal industry, but accepting - as energy generation transitions to renewables - a Labor government will be at the forefront of creating jobs in those areas."
Hawker says Albanese would do well to learn lessons from the only three post-war leaders who won office from opposition - Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd.
"They were all centrists, they rejected the politics of envy and they set out a path to transform the country and the economy."