Several Liberal politicians and conservative commentators are calling for Anthony Albanese to resign in the wake of the referendum.

South Australia’s Opposition Leader David Speirs said the Labor Party needed to “make a call” on Albanese’s future today.

“Some people are saying he should resign. He should resign because the damage he has done to our country and to the very fabric of what it means to be Australian is, quite frankly, heartbreaking,” Mr Spiers said.

“The prime minister should think about his future. I don’t think he will resign but there are international precedents there.”

Sky News host Andrew Bolt suggested the Prime Minister “should go” for subjecting Australia to the “poison” of the referendum during a fiery clash over the fallout of the Yes wipe out.

“I just wonder now how he can continue as Prime Minister. He’s put us through this nightmare and wasted nearly $400 million of taxpayers money, putting Australians at each other’s throats. “And unfortunately the poison from all this will survive.”

In The Australian, columnist Simon Benson wrote the consequences for Albanese are “unknown”.

“Failure of the referendum doesn’t necessarily go to fatality of leadership,” Benson wrote. “But the question is whether there is a residual effect that goes to a broader issue of political competence and judgment.

“Is what has been exposed by the Voice reveal something endemic about how Albanese deals with the big issues?”

Speaking about the referendum’s failure, ABC political correspondent and host of the program Insiders, David Speers, said the fallout is unclear.

“The Prime Minister is damaged by this, no question, but for how long and where we go to now on tackling Indigenous disadvantage, let alone any form of recognition in the Constitution remains very unclear,” Speers said on ABC News Breakfast.

While politics “back and forth will continue”, Speers said the country needs healing.

“This has been particularly painful for First Nations people in particular.

“The path forward is unclear. The government won‘t rush to say, ‘OK, here is Plan B’ but they will have to ultimately come up with something to deal with the issues that have been exposed and debated over the past six weeks, particularly on closing the gap.”

Mr Albanese attempted to unite the country in a speech on Saturday night, declaring “we are not yes voters or no voters. We are all Australian”.

Mr Albanese said the result did not define Australia.

“And it will not divide us,’’ he said.

“We must take our country beyond this debate, without forgetting while we had it in the first place.”

Mr Albanese said he always knew securing victory would “not be easy”.

“Nor could I guarantee the referendum would succeed. History told us that only eight out of 44 had done so,’’ he said.

“What I could promise was that we would go all in and that we would try.

“And we have given Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people the fulfilment of their request.

“We argued that this change, not out of convenience, but from conviction. I believe it was the right thing to do.”

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