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I'm ready to be prime minister: Shorten

Bill Shorten has declared he is ready to become prime minister as the Liberal Party tears itself apart over the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull.

The Labor leader decried the latest crisis within the government as "deeply disturbing", saying "no wonder people hate politics".

With Peter Dutton expected to again challenge Mr Turnbull for the leadership, and even speculation of an early election, Mr Shorten said he was "absolutely ready" for the top job.

As early as tomorrow? he was asked.

"If it has to be, it has to be. We are ready," he told the Nine Network.

Just last month Mr Shorten was facing questions about his own leadership, with polls predicting a poor result in the Super Saturday byelections and talk of challenge from frontbencher Anthony Albanese.

But Labor held onto its seats in the crucial vote, putting pressure instead on Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Shorten acknowledged Labor had played its role in the decade of leadership shenanigans in Canberra, having dispatched sitting prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

But he said the party had learned its lesson from the destructive internal wars.

"I never thought that I would be the ... longest leader of a political party since John Howard," he said.

"Labor has learned its lesson, and the proof in the pudding is the last five years."

The Labor leader said his party wasn't afraid of the more conservative Mr Dutton becoming leader, and said Mr Turnbull was just the salesman for the government's failed policies.

"What they are doing is blaming the salesman. It's the policies," he said.

© AAP 2018