(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Australia’s media have a tricky question to work through: when will Anthony Albanese have become sufficiently prime ministerial to be prime minister?

That could be some time, judging by the press gallery’s continuing sense of bewilderment at just how the election ended up as it did.

For Albanese it’s an urgent political imperative. It drives the narrative of first-term governments -- Labor governments more than most. It determines whether they’ll get a second term.