Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane says Labor is weakened but will fight hard at the next election.

Labor is weakened but will be a formidable force at the next federal election, Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane says.

Amid Labor’s resurgence in the opinion polls, Mr Loughnane, the architect of the Coalition’s victory in 2013, told the Liberal Party federal council that Labor left Australia poorer and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had done nothing to reform his party’s policies or structure.

“But despite their current weak leadership, we cannot be complacent,” he told party delegates in Melbourne.

“Labor has been an effective political machine in Australia for over 100 years.

“Labor will be competitive at the next election and will be a formidable opponent.

“They will do whatever it takes to try and get across the line with the backing of the big unions and special interest groups.”

Mr Loughnane also criticised the Australian Electoral Commission’s loss of Senate votes in Western Australia at the last election, which led to a fresh ballot in April in which the Liberals picked up three seats.

Mr Loughnane said the bungled Senate vote count raised questions about “the administration of the election by the AEC and the abuse of loopholes in the current electoral legislation by a number of minor parties”.

In a clear swipe at mining magnate and Queensland MP Clive Palmer, Mr Loughnane said: “We didn’t spend the the most money in that election. Another person, a one-man party did, but we were competitive and we were successful”.